Joe Rogan has received a lot of backlash in recent years for providing a platform to many controversial speakers, including actively harmful conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones. However, these protests reached new heights recently when Rogan used his podcast to promote misinformation about Covid-19.
Many famous artists have spoken out against Spotify’s decision to protect Rogan, with Neil Young and Joni Mitchell openly stating that they were going to pull their content from the platform because it supported Covid scepticism. In the days that have followed, more and more creators have joined the boycott of Spotify.
Since the very beginning of the pandemic, Rogan has spoken about distrust in lockdowns as well as a lack of faith in vaccines on countless occasions with multiple guests. Even when he had the virus himself, the podcast host managed to polarise audiences with his opinions but the real backlash started when he interviewed a discredited doctor – Robert Malone – who pretended to be the inventor of mRNA vaccines.
As a response to these rising concerns about the propagation of misinformation on Spotify, the developers have come out with a statement saying that they were incorporating a feature that would label controversial podcast episodes appropriately. The feature would also have a link to a hub with scientific resources for information about Covid-19.
Speaking out against this decision and the platform that someone like Joe Rogan has been provided, Sharon Stone has said: “[Rogan] should put a disclaimer that he’s an asshole… “Covid and infectious diseases are science, and they are fact-based situations. So the pretence that these are opinions is dangerous, and his behaviour is dangerous.”
This story is developing, and Spotify have yet to respond to the growing boycott.