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No Joe-ke Spotify responds to Joe Rogan Covid-19 misinformation controversy

Rogan has stirred controversy with his views on the pandemic, on vaccines and government mandates to control the spread of the virus

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Podcaster and UFC commentator Joe Rogan. Photo by Mike Roach

Podcaster and UFC commentator Joe Rogan. Photo by Mike Roach

Podcaster and UFC commentator Joe Rogan. Photo by Mike Roach

Spotify has responded after receiving backlash for allowing Covid misinformation to spread on the platform.

The music and podcast streaming service came under fire in the past week for allowing US podcast host Joe Rogan to spread false information about Covid-19 and vaccinations on his show The Joe Rogan Experience.

Rogan, a prominent vaccine sceptic, has stirred controversy with his views on the pandemic and on vaccines and government mandates to control the spread of the virus.

He has previously discouraged vaccinations in children and young adults on the podcast and promoted the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid.

In December, 270 scientists and medical professionals wrote to Spotify urging the platform to prevent Rogan spreading misinformation.

And musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell both objected to their music being available on the same streaming service as Rogan, pulling their catalogues from the service amid "lies costing people their lives."

Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek, responded to the controversy by publishing a blog post detailing new rules and guidelines for the platform.

“You’ve had a lot of questions over the last few days about our platform policies and the lines we have drawn between what is acceptable and what is not,” he said.

“We have had rules in place for many years but admittedly, we haven’t been transparent around the policies that guide our content more broadly.

“Based on the feedback over the last several weeks, it’s become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to widely-accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time,” Ek added.

He added that an advisory will direct listeners to a Covid-19 hub that contains information from medical and health experts, as well as links to authoritative sources.

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Meanwhile, in a 10-minute Instagram video post on Sunday evening, Rogan apologised to Spotify for the backlash but defended inviting contentious guests on The Joe Rogan Experience.

“If I pissed you off, I'm sorry,” Rogan said.

“I will do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people's perspectives so we can maybe find a better point of view.”

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