Audio streaming company Spotify has acquired Ireland-based Kinzen, which offers services that protect online communities from harmful content. Kinzen’s technology combines machine learning and human expertise—backed by analysis from local academics and journalists—to analyse potential harmful content and hate speech in multiple languages and countries.
The Swedish media company’s partnership with Kinzen began in 2020 to ensure the global audio platform’s safety processes. “Now, working together as one, we’ll be able even further to improve our ability to detect and address harmful content, and importantly, in a way, that better considers local context,” said Dustee Jenkins, Spotify’s global head of public affairs. “This investment expands Spotify’s approach to platform safety and underscores how seriously we take our commitment to creating a safe and enjoyable experience for creators and users.”
Given the complexity of analysing audio content in hundreds of languages and dialects and the challenges in effectively evaluating the nuance and intent of that content, the acquisition of Kinzen will help Spotify better understand the abuse landscape and identify emerging threats on the platform.
“The combination of tools and expert insights is Kinzen’s unique strength that we see as essential to identifying emerging abuse trends in markets and moderating potentially dangerous content at scale,” said Sarah Hoyle, Spotify’s head of trust and safety. “This expansion of our team, combined with the launch of our Safety Advisory Council, demonstrates the proactive approach we’re taking in this important space.”
In June 2022, Spotify unveiled its Safety Advisory Council, which it claimed was the first safety-focused council of its type at any major audio company. The founding members of this body comprise individuals and organisations with expertise in areas vital to navigating the online safety space. The council’s mission is to help Spotify safely evolve its policies and products while ensuring creator expression is respected.