Spotify is removing Joe Rogan’s Experience (JRE) episodes since Friday, and to date, the service has pulled a total of 113. Gizmodo noticed that some of the podcast episodes were no longer found, only 70 had disappeared from the platform. Now, based on web site dedicated to monitoring which episodes of the show are not available on the service, another 40 have been removed. However, the episodes do not appear to be connected to the COVID-19 controversy surrounding the show and service at this time.
Several artists have left Spotify recently because of Rogan’s COVID-19 related episodes. One open letter addressed to the host by doctors and scientists pointed out that he had made several misleading claims about the virus in the past and promoted the use of ivermectin to treat it. They have more problems with one specific episode in particular: episode #1757 with guest Dr. Robert Malone, who stated that people only believe that COVID-19 vaccines are effective due to “mass-forming psychosis”. This episode is still available.
Spotify doesn’t appear to be deleting the episodes in order, although the newest of the bunch is number 1458 with actor Chris D’Elia as a guest. It’s also unclear what policies the episodes violated to ensure deletion. Spotify’s head of global communications Dustee Jenkins told employees on Slack before that a team had reviewed several JRE episodes and found that they did not reach the threshold for removal. Jenkins also said that what Spotify didn’t do was share its policies externally, according to a report by On the edgewhich also posted a copy of the service’s very strict COVID-19 guidelines.
The company’s CEO admitted that its content policy should have been public before now, when it reported Spotify’s earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021. As for Rogan, he apologized for the backlash and said he would do his best “to try to balance these more controversial views.”
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