Joe Rogan, Spotify Respond to Protests

Content Advisories and Opposing Viewpoints To Be Added

The streaming service Spotify announced that it will add a content advisory to any podcast that discusses Covid-19, and podcast host Joe Rogan promises to do better.

  • On Sunday, Spotify was the first to break its silence by announcing it would add a disclaimer to any podcast about Covid-19, and published its rules regarding what is allowed on its platform.

We know we have a critical role to play in supporting creator expression while balancing it with the safety of our users. In that role, it is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek

A few hours later, Rogan took to his Instragram account to speak.

Rogan thanked Spotify and apologized to Spotify, Young, and Mitchell for creating the controversy, and said there were two changes he’d make to better inform his 11 million listeners when it comes to Covid-19.

  • The first: have mainstream experts give their viewpoints after guests espousing more fringe opinions.
  • The second: “do my best to make sure that I’ve researched these topics — the controversial ones in particular — and have all the pertinent facts at hand before I discuss them.”

The announcements follow massive backlash inspired by Neil Young and Joni Mitchell demanding their music be removed from Spotify in the face of Rogan’s misinformation controversy. Nils Lofgren, Bruce Springsteen’s guitarist and member of Crazy Horse, became the latest artist to follow suit on Sunday. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also expressed their concerns to Spotify. The couple announced in 2020 that they would produce and host podcasts exclusively through the platform.

A firestorm from medical professionals and scientists came in response to “false and societally harmful assertions” being broadcast from Spotify’s Joe Rogan podcast. Rogan has suggested that young and healthy people shouldn’t get vaccinated, and told his listeners that he treated his own case of Covid-19 with ivermectin.

Washington Post, NPR