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‘Don’t take the damn thing’: how Spotify playlists push dangerous anti-vaccine tunes | Spotify

Songs that claim Covid-19 is fake and describe the vaccines as “poison” are being actively promoted to Spotify users in playlists generated by its content recommendation engine.

Tracks found on the world’s largest music streaming service explicitly encourage people not to get vaccinated and say those who do are “slaves”, “sheep”, and victims of Satan. Others call for an uprising, urging listeners to “fight for your life”.

“They fooled the whole world with PCR testing. The thought police are patrolling. Can’t you see what’s unfolding?” say the lyrics of another, adding: “The whole thing ends once the people have risen.”

Spotify this weekend removed several of the songs flagged to it by the Observer, which it said breached rules banning content that promotes “dangerous, false, or deceptive content about Covid-19” that may pose a threat to public health.

Before being removed, the songs could be easily found using keywords through Spotify’s search tool. But they were also actively promoted to users who express interest in similar songs via automatically generated playlists, potentially bringing them to a far wider audience.

One user who played a song containing anti-vaccine lyrics was given a personalised playlist directing them to even more extreme songsOf the 50 songs in that playlist, 19 included explicit references to anti-vaccine and Covid misinformation, including claims the vaccine is being used to microchip people.

Some had references to other conspiracy theories, including claims that satanic paedophiles run the world, and that the Sandy Hook school shooting in the US, which left 26 dead, was a hoax.

Among the artists whose content was recommended to users was Edward Freeman, a rapper known as Remeece, who made headlines in the UK after touring schools blasting his anti-vaccine anthem Don’t Tek Di Vaccine to pupils outside school gates. The lyrics of the song – among those that remained live on Spotify last week – repeatedly say “don’t tek the damn thing” and “you mad”, and describe the vaccine as “poison”.

Remeece has visited primary and secondary schools in London, Cornwall and Bournemouth, according to videos posted on his Instagram feed. In December, he was filmed performing the song at a protest with Piers Corbyn, a key figure in the UK’s anti-vaccine movement.

Spotify has long been aware it is hosting the rapper’s content – which was first reported to Spotify by a concerned parent in November, according to emails seen by the Observer. His material remained live without any content warning last week.

The findings have stoked debate about the streaming giant’s handling of misinformation, with critics calling for the platform – and other streaming services hosting similar material – to be held to the same standard as traditional social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Spotify, which has more than 180 million users, has recently faced criticism over its relationship with podcaster Joe Rogan, who it signed in an exclusive deal for a reported $100m.

Neil Young singing on stage
Neil Young demanded his music be removed from Spotify in protest over alleged Covid misinformation. Photograph: Scanpix Denmark/Reuters

Several artists including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell demanded their content be removed from Spotify in protest at Rogan’s alleged role in spreading misinformation about Covid-19, and 270 US doctors, scientists, healthcare professionals and professors wrote to the platform calling Rogan “a menace to public health” for airing anti-vaccine ideology.

Guests on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, have included Robert Malone, a controversial infectious-disease researcher who was involved in the development of mRNA vaccine technology but has been criticised for spreading vaccine misinformation.

In response to that criticism, Spotify deleted several episodes and published new rules telling those uploading content to avoid claiming Covid-19 is a hoax and spreading anti-vaccine misinformation. It also said it would add content advisories to podcast episodes discussing Covid-19.

However, the anti-vaccine songs, which contain lyrics in some cases far more extreme than those podcasts, did not carry a content warning. In some cases the algorithm directed listeners to content with low numbers of plays, potentially amplifying the reach of misinformation that would otherwise have had a small audience. Many of the songs had titles containing keywords such as “vaccine” and “mask”, suggesting it would be easy for Spotify to locate them if it wanted to.

Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a group that monitors misinformation and harmful content online, said the material identified contained “unscientific, provably false misinformation” that encourages listeners to refuse vaccines that could save lives.

He said: “Spotify isn’t just hosting and profiting from dangerous misinformation, its algorithm is proactively connecting disparate pieces of dangerous misinformation and packaging it up to listeners.
After the Joe Rogan controversy, much was made of Spotify’s supposed tough stance against Covid misinformation. It appears the opposite is true.”

Spotify has previously removed other types of harmful content from its platform that was deemed to breach its policies.

Controversy: podcaster Joe Rogan
Controversy: podcaster Joe Rogan. Photograph: Gregory Payan/AP

In December, following an investigation by Sky News, it removed almost 150 hours of content it said violated its hateful content policy, including antisemitic, racist and white supremacist material found in podcasts.

In 2020, a BBC investigation led Spotify and other platforms including Apple Music, YouTube Music and Deezer to remove racist, antisemitic and homophobic content.

An excerpt of a Hitler speech, calls for “Aryans” to make a brand new start, and references to white power were found in songs hosted by the streaming services.

'I get things wrong': Joe Rogan responds after Spotify misinformation backlash – video
‘I get things wrong’: Joe Rogan responds after Spotify misinformation backlash – video

Don’t Tek Di Vaccine was among the songs Spotify took down this weekend. It is yet to say if it plans to add health warnings to songs which discuss Covid-19, as it has with podcasts.

A spokesperson said: “Spotify prohibits content on the platform which promotes dangerous false, or dangerous deceptive content about Covid-19 that may cause offline harm and/or pose a direct threat to public health. When content that violates this standard is identified, the appropriate enforcement action is taken.”

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How Automated Moveable Medians Redefining Traffic Flow And Revolutionizing Road Safety

AI Revolutionizing Road Safety

The Voice Of EU | In today’s fast-paced world, where traffic congestion and road safety concerns continue to plague urban landscapes, the integration of advanced technology is becoming a beacon of hope for a safer, and more efficient transportation system. One such groundbreaking innovation that’s redefining traffic flow and ensuring safety on the roads is the implementation of Automated Moveable Medians (AMMs).

The Genesis of Automated Moveable Medians

The traditional median strip, often a static feature on roadways, primarily serves as a visual barrier between opposing lanes, minimizing head-on collisions and contributing to general road safety. However, these static medians often fall short in adapting to dynamic traffic patterns and fail to respond to changing conditions, leading to potential hazards during peak traffic hours or emergencies.

The concept of Automated Moveable Medians (AMMs) marks a paradigm shift in road safety and traffic management. These medians are equipped with cutting-edge AI, Machine Learning, and Robotics technologies, enabling them to autonomously adjust their positions based on real-time traffic conditions, thereby optimizing traffic flow and enhancing safety.

How Automated Moveable Medians Function

Utilizing a network of sensors, cameras, and AI algorithms, AMMs continuously monitor traffic density, speed, and patterns. When traffic begins to congest in one direction, the AMMs autonomously shift their positions, reallocating lanes to accommodate the higher traffic volume. By dynamically altering the median’s position, these systems effectively create additional lanes or expand existing ones, mitigating congestion and reducing the likelihood of accidents.

Statistical Insights Driving Adoption

According to recent studies conducted by transportation authorities in major urban centers:

– AMMs have shown a remarkable reduction of up to 30% in the number of accidents caused by lane misallocation or static medians’ inability to adapt to dynamic traffic.

– Improved traffic flow has led to a significant decrease in commute times by an average of 15%-25% during peak hours.

– Real-time adjustments by AMMs have demonstrated a 25% decrease in overall congestion levels on highly trafficked roads.

– Reduced congestion and smoother traffic flow have translated into a notable decline of up to 30% in carbon emissions in these areas.

The Future Prospects and Challenges

While the advent of AMMs presents a promising solution to traffic-related issues, there are challenges to address. Ensuring the seamless integration of these systems into existing infrastructures, addressing potential cybersecurity threats, and navigating regulatory frameworks are essential considerations for wider implementation.

Moreover, while AMMs offer a viable solution for major roads and highways, their application in densely populated urban areas and narrower streets requires meticulous planning to avoid hindering pedestrian movement and emergency services’ access.

Collaborative Efforts for Implementation

The successful implementation and scalability of AMMs hinge upon collaborative efforts among transportation authorities, urban planners, AI developers, and governmental bodies. The synergy of expertise from these diverse sectors can facilitate the deployment of AMMs in high-priority areas, improving road safety and traffic management.

The emergence of Automated Moveable Medians heralds a new era in transportation innovation. By leveraging advanced technologies, these dynamic systems are not only enhancing traffic flow but also contributing significantly to road safety, making our streets safer and more efficient for all commuters.

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By John Elf, Contributor “The Voice Of EU

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Global Affairs

Open Source Software (OSS) Supply Chain, Security Risks And Countermeasures

OSS Security Risks And Countermeasures

The software development landscape increasingly hinges on open source components, significantly aiding continuous integration, DevOps practices, and daily updates. Last year, Synopsys discovered that 97% of codebases in 2022 incorporated open source, with specific sectors like computer hardware, cybersecurity, energy, and the Internet of Things (IoT) reaching 100% OSS integration.

While leveraging open source enhances efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and developer productivity, it inadvertently paves a path for threat actors seeking to exploit the software supply chain. Enterprises often lack visibility into their software contents due to complex involvement from multiple sources, raising concerns highlighted in VMware’s report last year. Issues include reliance on communities to patch vulnerabilities and associated security risks.

Raza Qadri, founder of Vibertron Technologies, emphasizes OSS’s pivotal role in critical infrastructure but underscores the shock experienced by developers and executives regarding their applications’ OSS contribution. Notably, Qadri cites that 95% of vulnerabilities surface in “transitive main dependencies,” indirectly added open source packages.

Qadri also acknowledges developers’ long-standing use of open source. However, recent years have witnessed heightened awareness, not just among developers but also among attackers. Malware attacks targeting the software supply chain have surged, as demonstrated in significant breaches like SolarWinds, Kaseya, and the Log4j exploit.

Log4j’s widespread use exemplifies the consolidation of risk linked to extensively employed components. This popular Java-based logging tool’s vulnerabilities showcase the systemic dependency on widely used software components, posing significant threats if exploited by attackers.

Moreover, injection of malware into repositories like GitHub, PyPI, and NPM has emerged as a growing threat. Cybercriminals generate malicious versions of popular code to deceive developers, exploiting vulnerabilities when components are downloaded, often without the developers’ knowledge.

Despite OSS’s security risks, its transparency and visibility compared to commercial software offer certain advantages. Qadri points out the swift response to Log4j vulnerabilities as an example, highlighting OSS’s collaborative nature.

Efforts to fortify software supply chain security are underway, buoyed by multi-vendor frameworks, vulnerability tracking tools, and cybersecurity products. However, additional steps, such as enforcing recalls for defective OSS components and implementing component-level firewalls akin to packet-level firewalls, are necessary to fortify defenses and mitigate malicious attacks.

Qadri underscores the need for a holistic approach involving software bills of materials (SBOMs) coupled with firewall-like capabilities to ensure a comprehensive understanding of software contents and preemptive measures against malicious threats.

As the software supply chain faces ongoing vulnerabilities and attacks, concerted efforts are imperative to bolster security measures, safeguard against threats, and fortify the foundational aspects of open source components.

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By John Elf | Science, Technology & Business contributor Digital

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Choco: Revolutionizing The FoodTech Industry With Innovation & Sustainability | EU20

By Clint Bailey

— In the rapidly evolving world of food technology, European startup Choco has emerged as a pioneering force. With its website,, this Berlin-based company is transforming the way food industry professionals operate by leveraging innovative digital solutions. By linking restaurants, distributors, suppliers, and producers on a single platform, Choco is streamlining the supply chain process while promoting sustainability.

Let’s explore the journey of and its impact on the overall foodtech industry.

  1. Company: Choco Technologies GmbH
  2. Website:
  3. Head Office: Berlin, Germany
  4. Year Established: 2018
  5. Founders: Choco was co-founded by Daniel Khachab, Julian Hammer, and Rogerio da Silva.
  6. Industry: Choco operates in the foodtech industry, specifically focusing on digitizing the supply chain for the food industry.
  7. Funding: Choco has secured significant funding rounds from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners & Coatue Management.
  8. Market Presence: Choco has a strong presence in several European cities, including Berlin, Paris, London & Barcelona.
  9. Mission: Choco aims to revolutionize the food industry by leveraging technology to simplify supply chain management, promote sustainability, and reduce food waste.

Simplifying Supply Chain Management

One of the core focuses of Choco is to simplify supply chain management for food businesses. Traditionally, the procurement process in the food industry has been cumbersome and inefficient, with numerous intermediaries and manual processes. Choco’s digital platform replaces the traditional paper-based ordering system, allowing restaurants and suppliers to communicate and collaborate seamlessly.

Choco’s platform enables restaurants to place orders directly with suppliers, eliminating the need for phone calls, faxes, or emails. This not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of errors and miscommunications.

By digitizing the ordering process, Choco improves transparency, making it easier for restaurants to compare prices, track deliveries, and manage inventory efficiently.

Streamlining Operations For Suppliers & Producers

Choco’s impact extends beyond restaurants. The platform also provides suppliers and producers with valuable tools to streamline their operations. By digitizing their product catalogs and integrating them into the Choco platform, suppliers can showcase their offerings to a wide network of potential buyers.

Suppliers benefit from increased visibility, enabling them to reach new customers and expand their market presence. Moreover, Choco’s platform helps suppliers manage their inventory, track orders, and plan deliveries effectively. These features enhance operational efficiency, reduce waste, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable food system.
YouTube Channel

Promoting Sustainability & Reducing Food Waste

Choco recognizes the critical importance of sustainability in the food industry. According to the United Nations, approximately one-third of the world’s food production goes to waste each year. By digitizing the supply chain and enabling more efficient ordering and inventory management, Choco actively works to combat this issue.

Air France – Deals & Destinations

Choco’s platform facilitates data-driven decision-making for restaurants, suppliers, and producers. By analyzing purchasing patterns & demand, Choco helps businesses optimize their inventory levels, reducing overstocking and minimizing food waste. Additionally, Choco supports local sourcing, enabling businesses to connect with nearby suppliers & promote sustainable, community-based practices.

Expanding Reach & Impact

Since its founding in 2018, Choco has experienced rapid growth and expansion. The startup has successfully secured significant funding rounds, allowing it to scale its operations and establish a strong presence across Europe and other global markets. Today, Choco’s platform is used by thousands of restaurants and suppliers, revolutionizing the way they operate.

Choco’s impact extends beyond operational efficiency or sustainability. By connecting restaurants, suppliers & producers on a single platform, Choco fosters collaboration & encourages the exchange of ideas. This collaborative approach strengthens the overall foodtech ecosystem and creates a supportive community of like-minded aiming to drive positive change within the industry.

Future Of FoodTech

Choco’s rise to prominence in the foodtech industry exemplifies the reach of sustainability, innovation, and community. Through its user-friendly platform, Choco simplifies supply chain management, streamlines operations for restaurants & suppliers, and actively promotes sustainable practices. By harnessing the potential of digital, Choco is disrupting the future of the food industry, making it more efficient and transparent.

As Choco continues to expand its impact and reach, its transformative influence on the foodtech sector is set to inspiring, grow other startups, and established players to embrace technology for a better and more sustainable food system.

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— Compiled by Clint Bailey | Team ‘Voice of EU’
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