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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Joe Rogan Responds to the Spotify Covid Misinformation Protest

Following Neil Young’s complaints against the propagation of COVID-19 vaccination disinformation, Spotify has announced that it would include content cautions before podcasts about the virus.

Given the backlash sparked by Young, who had his music removed from Spotify on Wednesday after the tech giant refused to remove episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which has been criticized for spreading virus misinformation, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek wrote a post on Sunday outlining more transparent platform rules.

“There are plenty of personalities and viewpoints on Spotify with which I strongly disagree,” Ek stated. “It’s critical to me that we don’t take on the role of content censorship while simultaneously ensuring that rules are in place and that those who break them face repercussions.”

In what Ek termed as a “new attempt to counteract disinformation,” the alerts will connect to Spotify’s fact-based COVID-19 hub. It will be available in the coming days, according to Ek. He didn’t say anything about Rogan or Young.

Rogan replied to the backlash on Sunday, claiming in an Instagram video that he was simply looking for individuals with “differing viewpoints” to talk to on his show.

“I’m not trying to spread false information or stir up controversy,” Rogan stated. “With my podcast, I’ve never tried to do anything other than chat to people.”

He also stated that he plans his podcast guests personally, and that he would aim to book physicians with opposing viewpoints shortly after speaking with “the contentious ones.” Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s top medical reporter, Dr. Michael Osterholm, a member of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory group, and Dr. Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine were among the guests on Rogan’s show.

Rogan also liked the notion of including COVID-19-related cautions before podcasts.

“Sure, put it on there.” “That makes me extremely delighted,” he remarked.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who have inked a multi-year contract with Spotify’s production business Archewell Audio to create and host podcasts, encouraged Spotify on Sunday to combat viral disinformation.

“Our co-founders began raising concerns to our partners at Spotify about the all-too-real repercussions of COVID-19 falsehoods on its platform last April,” according to an Archewell spokeswoman. “We’ve continued to communicate our concerns to Spotify, requesting that it make modifications to its platform to assist solve the public health situation.” We look to Spotify to help us fulfill this challenge, and we’re dedicated to keeping our collaboration going as long as it does.”

Nils Lofgren, a member of Bruce Springsteen’s Crazy Horse and a frequent collaborator with Young, said earlier Sunday that he was joining Young’s Spotify rebellion. Lofgren claimed he’d already had the previous 27 years of his music erased, and he’d asked companies to do the same with his older work.

In a statement, Lofgren said, “We invite all musicians, artists, and music fans everywhere to stand with us and terminate connections with Spotify.”

Joni Mitchell announced on Friday that she is attempting to withdraw all of her songs off Spotify in support of Young. Hundreds of scientists, academicians, and public health professionals had already urged Spotify to take down an episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” dated December 31 that included Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious-disease specialist who had been banned from Twitter for spreading COVID-19 falsehoods.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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