Spotify acquires content moderation tech company Kinzen to address platform safety issues • TechCrunch

Spotify this morning announced it acquired Dublin, Ireland-based content moderation technology company Kinzen, which has been partnering with the streaming house since 2020. Terms of the agreement were undisclosed. At Spotify, Kinzen’s technology will be put to use to help the company better moderate podcasts and other audio by combining machine learning and human expertise – this includes analytics from industry experts. newspapers and local academics, the company said.

Founded in 2017 by Áine Kerr, Mark Little and Paul Watson, Kinzen’s mission is focused on protecting public conversations from “dangerous misinformation and harmful content,” according to the website. mine.

This is an area where Spotify has experienced firsthand due to the controversy over its top podcaster, Joe Rogan, who Spreading misinformation related to Covid-19 vaccine on his show, leading to public backlash and a PR nightmare for the company. At one point, 270 doctors and scientists signed an open letter to Spotify asking them to create misinformation policies to tackle the problem. The hashtag #deletespotify is trending and popular artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulled their music from the service in protest.

Spotify later amend its policy around Covid-19 and misinformation in early 2022, despite critics and experts Debate Actual changes do not make a significant impact. This June, Spotify took another step towards better handling the content published to its platform with Establishment of “Safety Advisory Council” Their job is to help guide Spotify’s future content moderation decisions.

Today’s announcement of the Kinzen acquisition is an indication that even that step isn’t enough – it looks like Spotify needs to bring in expert content moderation in-house.

In short, Kinzen solutions aim to help platforms respond more quickly to content moderation issues in real time using a combination of technology and human expertise at scale.

Kinzen’s toolkit includes tools that help platforms plan ahead by receiving early warning of evolving stories and trends that could later turn into misinformation risks. This includes analysis of many areas, such as medical misinformation, anti-Semitism, hateful content, climate misinformation, violent extremism, and disinformation. other dangerous biases in many markets and languages. It provides its customers with useful insights into policy violations, which can address audio, video, and text-based content. This cross-platform support is especially important, as Spotify’s expand into video podcast and wants to cater to advertisers who don’t want their brand to be next to harmful content.

Spotify notes that Kinzen will be particularly valuable because it has the ability to analyze content in hundreds of languages ​​and dialects, which will help the company spot emerging threats across markets.

“We have long had a fruitful and collaborative partnership with Kinzen and its exceptional team. Now, working together as one, we will be able to further improve our ability to detect and address harmful content, and importantly, in a way that better considers the local context,” said Dustee Jenkins, Spotify’s Head of Global Public Affairs said in a statement about the deal. “This investment expands Spotify’s approach to platform safety and underscores how serious we are about our commitment to creating safe and enjoyable experiences for creators and users.” She added.

Sarah Hoyle, Head of Trust and Safety at Spotify, said: “The combination of tools and expert insights is Kinzen’s unique strength that we consider essential to identifying potential threats. abusive trends are emerging in the market and censor potentially dangerous content on a large scale. “The expansion of our team, combined with the launch of the Safety Advisory Council, demonstrates the proactive approach we are taking in this important space.”

According to data from CrunchbaseKinzen has raised around 2.3 million euros in funding in 2 rounds, the last round being November 2020 seed round.



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