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Spotify has announced that they will add a “content advisory” to segments that discuss COVID after the blowup on their platform involving Joe Rogan’s podcasts concerning the pandemic and artists such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell leaving the service in protest.
To justify the move, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek released a statement defending the service’s attempt to balance creative freedom with the safety of its customers. He announced, “we are working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about Covid-19.”
“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,” the statement reads. “This new effort to combat misinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days. To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform.”
“The Joe Rogan Experience” was not mentioned in the statement. But the timing of it is obviously connected to outrage coming from the left over interviews with guests who have spoken out against vaccine and mask mandates on Rogan’s show.
Keep doing exactly what you’re doing. We’re in an awful place already…. It’d be worse without folks like yourself. Don’t change anything. You’re doing the country a huge service. Allow folks to continue to speak free. Ask questions. Have discussions. It’s how things change 👊🏻🇺🇸
— Chris Manno (@Mann_O_Steel17) January 31, 2022
Rogan is speaking out and defending his podcasts. He put together a video explaining the challenges of preparing for his unscripted shows. He pointed out there are “discussions” on various issues and he seeks opinions from both sides. The mega-podcaster defended his interviews with Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist, and Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease specialist on COVID.
McCullough has been widely published and Malone is considered one of the leading experts on mRNA technology which is used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
(Video Credit: Joe Rogan)
“I’m going to do my best, in the future, to balance things out… I’m going to do my best,” he vowed. “But my point of doing this, always, is just to create interesting conversations and ones that I hope people enjoy.”
Singer Neil Young had his music portfolio removed from Spotify after demanding that the platform either boot Rogan over the issue or he would leave. Since Spotify recently signed a $100 million contract with Rogan, it wasn’t much of a choice. Young has accused Spotify of “spreading fake information about vaccines” and has incited protests from other artists over the matter.
Joni Mitchell is the latest singer to send Spotify a letter, taking a stand with Young and asking that the service remove her music as well.
“Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives,” Mitchell stated on Friday. “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”
Both Joni Mitchell & Neil Young think they’re truly doing something by taking their music off of Spotify.
Joe Rogan doesn’t spread misinformation, he has open discussions.
When your entire political ideology is based on suppressing discourse, you’re on the wrong side.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 29, 2022
Nils Lofgren, who was part of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and Crazy Horse, has also announced he is taking his music off Spotify and is encouraging all “musicians, artists, and music lovers” to leave the platform to support healthcare professionals.
“When these heroic men and women, who’ve spent their lives healing and saving ours, cry out for help, you don’t turn your back on them for money and power,” Lofgren and his wife, Amy, said in a released statement. “You listen and stand with them.”
Do you see how the leftist censorship campaign against the civil rights of @JoeRogan now means targeting every non-communist creator on @Spotify (and their tens of millions of listeners). https://t.co/YnnIuQl2gB
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) January 30, 2022
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle inserted themselves into the fray and have expressed their “concerns” to Spotify over COVID “misinformation” on the platform as well, according to CNN.
“Last April, our co-founders began expressing concerns to our partners at Spotify about the all too real consequences of COVID-19 misinformation on its platform,” an Archewell spokesperson recounted in a statement. “We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis.”
Everyday Harry and Meghan wake up and think “how can we make millions more people around the world hate us?”
“Oh, I heard Joe Rogan has 50 million unique listeners— let’s write an open letter indicating our inherent self-importance, and demand Spotify begin censoring him” https://t.co/gSA9kiyuef
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) January 31, 2022
Ek acknowledged there has been a lack of transparency regarding Spotify’s policies concerning acceptable content and program guidelines. The COVID hub is an attempt to show that Spotify takes the pandemic seriously. The CEO remarked that “we will also begin testing ways to highlight our Platform Rules in our creator and publisher tools to raise awareness around what’s acceptable and help creators understand their accountability.”
“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,” Ek commented in an attempt to placate both sides of the explosive issue. “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.”
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