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Joe Rogan is responding to Spotify protests started by Neil Young over the spread of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.


In response to the backlash, which saw fellow folk-rock songwriter and singer, Joni Mitchell join Young in removing her music from the platform, Spotify agreed to add content advisories to podcasts talking about COVID-19.

Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek, created a post on the streaming platform’s website on Sunday detailing more specific policies about COVID-19 as the company refused to answer the calls of protesters and get rid of episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience.

"Personally, there are plenty of individuals and views on Spotify that I disagree with strongly," wrote Ek. "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."

Rogan first came under fire after having guests Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Robert Malone on his podcast where they openly spoke out against COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine mandates. Dr. McCullough is a renowned cardiologist and highly published medical scientist and Dr. Malone is an infectious disease specialist who worked on early MRNA vaccine technology in the1980’s. Malone was banned from Twitter last year for spreading COVID-19 misinformation.

Following the podcast Young immediately demanded that Rogan’s episode be removed otherwise he would pull his music from the platform giving the company a choice: Rogan or Young.

“Spotify represents 60% of the streaming of my music to listeners around the world ... Yet my [record label] stood with me, recognizing the threat the COVID misinformation on SPOTIFY posed to the world — particularly for our young people who think everything they hear on SPOTIFY is true,” Young posted on his website.

Rogan responded to the controversy in a 10 minute video posted to Instagram on Sunday.

“I’m just a person who sits down and talks to people and has conversations with them. Do I get things wrong? Absolutely I get things wrong, but I try to correct them. Whenever I get something wrong I try to correct it because I’m interested in telling the truth. I’m interested in finding out what the truth is and I’m interested in having interesting conversations with people that have differing opinions.”

He continued,

"I'm not trying to promote misinformation, I'm not trying to be controversial," Rogan said. "I've never tried to do anything with this podcast other than to just talk to people."

Rogan defended himself and the podcast pointing out that he has had multiple other experts on the show such as Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the chief medical correspondent for CNN, Dr. Michael Osterholm, a member of President Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, and Dr. Peter Hotez from Baylor College of Medicine.

Rogan explained that he schedules his guests on the show himself and would try to book doctors with differing opinions right after talking to those that are "controversial."

Rogan promised to, "do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people’s perspectives, so we can maybe find a better point of view.”

The podcast host also commented on the new content advisories.

"Sure, have that on there. I'm very happy with that," he said.

Other celebrities who have spoken out against Spotify since the podcast include Nils Lofgren and Brené Brown.

In a tweet on Jan. 29 Brown wrote,

“I will not be releasing any podcasts until further notice. To our #UnlockingUs and #DaretoLead communities, I’m sorry and I’ll let you know if and when that changes. Stay awkward, brave, and kind.”

Nils Lofgren, guitarist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, pulled 27 years worth of music from the platform on the same day.

“We encourage all musicians, artists and music lovers everywhere, to stand with us all, and cut ties with Spotify," he published on his website.

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