Spotify employees used internal message boards to express concerns about Joe Rogan’s podcast long before the COVID-19 misinformation row, report suggests

Neil Young (L) demanded Spotify remove his music amid criticism of Joe Rogan (R) for allowing COVID-19 misinformation to be spread on “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

Spotify employees have posted concerns about Joe Rogan’s podcast on internal message boards, The WSJ reported.
They’ve been doing so since September 2020, when Rogan’s show was added to Spotify, The WSJ says.
This predates the COVID-19 misinformation row that has engulfed Rogan and Spotify.

Spotify employees have been using internal message boards to express concerns about Joe Rogan‘s podcast since long before the COVID-19 misinformation row engulfed the company, a report by The Wall Street Journal suggests.

Some staff have been posting concerns ever since “The Joe Rogan Experience” was added to Spotify in September 2020, The Journal said, citing sources inside the company.

Rogan was accused in late January of allowing the spread of COVID-19 misinformation on his show. A backlash from scientists and health professionals prompted Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to request that their music be taken off Spotify, which owns the podcast.

Frustration among Spotify employees boiled over after Young took action, The Journal reported, citing people inside the company.

Spotify did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Earlier this month, an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience featured Robert Malone, a doctor who said mask-wearing had induced something called “mass formation psychosis,” and that people were hypnotized into believing facts about COVID-19.

Soon after, a group of 270 doctors, nurses, scientists, and educators published an open letter that asked Spotify to tackle COVID-19 misinformation on its platform. Psychologists have rejected Malone’s claims, saying “mass formation psychosis” does not exist.

Rogan later addressed the criticism in an Instagram post in which he apologized to Spotify and half-apologized to Young and Mitchell.

Insider’s Alia Shoaib reported Saturday that Spotify appears to have quietly deleted 70 of Rogan’s podcast episodes that don’t touch on COVID-19.

The Joe Rogan Experience is the most popular podcast in 93 markets, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has said. The show’s listener base grew by 75% between September 2020 to December 2021, Ek said.

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