Spotify acquires Kinzen to improve platform safety

In a move to improve safety and keep harmful content off its platform, Spotfy has acquired Kinzen

Audio-streaming service Spotify has acquired Ireland-based Kinzen, a company that has helped it identify harmful content on the platform. 

Founded in 2017 by Mark Little, Áine Kerr and Paul Watson, Kinzen combines human expertise with machine learning to help analyse and identify misinformation and harmful content in 28 languages and markets.

The start-up originally began as a news curation service but has since pivoted to tackle harmful content. Kinzen says on its website that it can identify and respond to violations and “unexpected crises with speed and precision”.

“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,” said Dustee Jenkins, Spotify’s Global Head of Public Affairs. 

Improving online safety for customers

Spotify’s partnership with Kinzen began in 2020, and has been critical to enhancing its approach to platform safety. 

“We’ve long had an impactful and collaborative partnership with Kinzen and its exceptional team. Now, working together as one, we’ll be able to even further improve our ability to detect and address harmful content, and importantly, in a way that better considers local context,” added Jenkins. 

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. 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,” said Sarah Hoyle, Spotify’s Head of Trust and Safety.

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