"There is more that can be done": Joe Rogan x Spotify controversy explained as White House asks streaming platform to take further action on misinformation

Joe Rogan (Image via SYFY/Getty Images)
Joe Rogan (Image via SYFY/Getty Images)

Joe Rogan’s controversial podcast on Spotify intensified as White House press secretary Jen Psaki commented on the audio streaming giant’s new strategy to deal with COVID-19 misinformation.

On being asked about the platform’s COVID content advisory during her daily press briefing, Psaki stated that the streaming platform could take more steps to address the misinformation.

Jen Psaki said,

“This disclaimer is a positive step, but we want every platform to continue doing more to call out mis- and disinformation while also uplifting accurate information.”

The press secretary elaborated,

“Our hope is that all major tech platforms, and all major news sources for that matter, be responsible and be vigilant to ensure the American people have access to accurate information on something as significant as COVID-19. That certainly includes Spotify.”

Spotify’s response to Joe Rogan and his guests’ on the JRE podcast's misinformation allegations


Amidst Joe Rogan’s controversy, Spotify lost over $2 billion in late January. While there may have been several factors behind this, it is safe to assume that certain groups of investors are rightfully spooked over the music streaming giant’s involvement with the current controversies.

In an official press release, the firm’s CEO Daniel Ek said:

“We are working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19.”

During his interview with CNBC on February 3, Ek insinuated that the firm’s responses to the scientific community’s demands were adequate. Earlier in the week, the CEO expressed his opinions regarding the policy change in the earnings call to Investors. He said,

“I think the important part here is that we don’t change our policies based on one creator nor do we change it based on any media cycle or calls from anyone else.”

He further assured the investors that Joe Rogan, despite being the world’s most popular podcaster, has to abide by their policies. Later in the week, reports claimed that 100+ episodes of the JRE Podcast had been removed from the platform policy violations.

During his interview with CNBC, Ek acknowledged that the firm should have publicly disclosed its content policies regarding guidelines sooner.

Ahead of the platform’s earnings call, JRE host Joe Rogan apologized to the scientific community in an Instagram video. The controversy sparked when 270 medical professionals wrote an open letter to Spotify regarding pandemic-related misinformation.

Updates to the content guidelines by Spotify following the controversy


On January 31, the music streaming platform amended its guidelines to incorporate multiple rules for content with COVID-19 information. As per the updated guidelines, no content can claim that diseases like AIDS and COVID-19 are hoaxes.

Furthermore, the platform will also not allow content that promotes that vaccines are designed to cause deaths. Similarly, content that supports deliberate COVID-29 infection to build immunity is also prohibited. Spotify also barred content that “promotes dangerous false or dangerous deceptive medical information”.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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