Spotify to Add Content Advisories for Podcasts Discussing Covid-19, Rogan Responds to Controversy
Spotify said yesterday that it will start adding content advisories, which will also link to their fact-based Covid-19 hub, before podcasts that discuss the coronavirus, acting in response to a backlash that took off when Neil Young said he wanted his music removed from the streaming platform because of Covid misinformation during Joe Rogan's podcast. Joni Mitchell followed suit, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have a multi-year podcast deal with Spotify, also released a statement of concern.
CEO Daniel Ek said in a post yesterday revealing the new guidelines, "Personally, there are plenty of individuals and views on Spotify that I disagree with strongly. 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."
Rogan also spoke out yesterday, saying in a video posted on Instagram he was just trying to have conversations with people who have "differing opinions." He 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 to just talk to people." He welcomed the idea of adding advisories, and said he would try to book doctors with different opinions right after having the, quote, "controversial ones" on his show. He also noted he'd previously had as guests CNN's chief medical correspondent, a member of President Biden's Covid-19 advisory board, and a Baylor College of Medicine doctor. Hundreds of scientists, professors and public health experts had asked Spotify to remove a recent episode of Rogan's show with an infectious-disease specialist who's been banned from Twitter for spreading Covid misinformation.
WARNING: Some harsh language in this video: