Thu. May 19th, 2022


Spotify has been removed Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) episodes since Friday, and as of this writing, the service has pulled down a total of 113. When Gizmodo noticed that some of the podcast’s episodes could no longer be found, only 70 had disappeared from the platform. Now, based on the website dedicated to monitoring which of the show’s episodes aren’t available on the service, an additional 40 had been removed. However, the episodes don’t seem to be connected with the COVID-19 controversy surrounding the show and the service right now.

Several artists have exited Spotify recently because of Rogan’s COVID-19-related episodes. An open letter addressed to the host from 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 take the most issue with one specific episode in particular: Episode # 1757 with guest Dr. Robert Malone, who claimed that people only believe COVID-19 vaccines are effective due to “mass formation psychosis.” That episode is still available.

Spotify doesn’t seem to be deleting episodes in order, though the newest one in the bunch is # 1458 with actor Chris D’Elia as guest. It’s also unclear what policies the episodes broke to warrant being deleted. Spotify head of global communications Dustee Jenkins reportedly told employees on Slack before that a team reviewed multiple controversial JRE episodes and found that they didn’t meet the threshold for removal. Jenkins also said that what Spotify hasn’t done is share its policies externally, according to a report by The Verge, which also posted a copy of the service’s pretty narrow COVID-19 guidelines.

The CEO of the company admitted that its content policy should’ve been public before now when he reported Spotify’s earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021. As for Rogan, he apologized for the backlash and said he’ll do his best “best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints.”

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