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Joe Rogan & Spotify Respond to Pressure Over COVID-19 Misinformation Claims

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is introducing ‘content advisories’ following concerns about COVID misinformation on The Joe Rogan Experience.

Joe Rogan and Spotify are starting to feeling the heat after weeks of criticism over spreading COVID-19 misinformation. In a statement Sunday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek announced that the platform would take additional precautions for any podcasts discussing COVID-19 and related material.

“This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources,” Ek said in a statement.

Ek also said that Spotify would be publishing “long-standing Platform Rules” which are now on the Spotify website.  The streaming service will reportedly “raise awareness around what’s acceptable and help creators understand their accountability for the content they post on our platform.”

In a 10-minute Instagram clip on Sunday, Rogan said he was in support of Spotify’s new procedures and offered to “try harder” to be more informed on his podcast.

“I’m not trying to promote misinformation, I’m not trying to be controversial,” he said. “I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than just talk to people and have interesting conversations.”

In December, 270 doctors, scientists and healthcare professionals signed an open letter requesting that Spotify develop a policy concerning vaccine misinformation, citing an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience with virologist Dr. Robert Malone.

Last week, The Joe Rogan Experience drew criticism from folk-rock legend Neil Young in a now-deleted open letter on his website. In the letter, Young demanded that Spotify remove his music if they decided to keep The Joe Rogan Experience on their platform. Spotify has begun to remove Young’s music and additional artists like Joni Mitchell have decided to follow suit.

“Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives,” Mitchell wrote in a post on her website. “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

Fellow rock artists have have also sided with Young on social media like David Crosby, Sebastian Bach and Peter FramptonUnlocking Us and Dare to Lead podcaster Brené Brown has also paused her Spotify-exclusive shows “until further notice.” Read some of their tweets below.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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