On Sunday, Joe Rogan defended himself against accusations by Spotify artists against Covid-19 misinformation on his podcast. According to Spotify, “The Joe Rogan Experience” is the top podcast in the US and UK. However, hosting controversial guests caused this backlash.
In a 9-minute video he posted on his Instagram, Rogan said, “I’m not trying to promote misinformation, I’m not trying to be controversial. I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than just talk to people and have interesting conversations.”
On the other hand, Spotify said on Sunday that it will add a content advisory to all podcast episodes discussing Covid-19. The role of the advisory is to direct listeners to trusted sources, a move that Rogan agreed to and said, ”I want to thank Spotify for being so supportive during this time. And I’m very sorry that this is happening to them and that they’re taking much heat from it.”
As a result of the growing list of personalities and musicians on Spotify that demand the platform to audit its content and take action against any misinformation, the company decided to post its” long-standing platform rules” publicly. This follows the request by Joni Mitchell and Neil Young to have their music removed from its database.
Rogan promised in his video to balance controversial guests by scheduling mainstream perspectives there after them. Further, he promised to study contentious topics as well as have “have all the pertinent facts at hand.”
He continued to say, “I want to show all kinds of opinions so that we can all figure out what is going on and not just about Covid, about everything about health, fitness, wellness, the state of the world.”
Although he portrays himself as a figure with interesting conversations, he has disputed any bases for misinformation. However, he claims that the origins of the virus and the effectiveness of cloth masks are changes in the scientific opinion that was previously viewed as misinformation and not supposed to have been on social media. He says, “many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact.”
Rogan stated, “I want to thank Spotify for being so supportive during this time. And I’m very sorry that this is happening to them and that they’re taking so much heat from it.” He added, “I’m sorry that they feel that way. I most certainly don’t want that… always been a Neil Young fan.”
Apart from Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, both Canadian musicians, the Bruce Springsteen guitarist Nils Lofgren, withdrew from Spotify on Sunday. Prince Harry and Meghan also expressed their concern through their Archewell foundation “about the all too real consequences of Covid-19 misinformation on its platform.”
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek promised to look into this backlash and laid out a new plan to clamp down this misinformation.