Spotify Science Podcast Pivots to Countering Joe Rogan, Misinformation

  • The makers of Spotify’s award-winning “Science Vs” podcast say they’re dropping their regular show.
  • Instead, they say they’ll focus on countering misinformation spread on Spotify by Joe Rogan and others.
  • Science Vs won an award for audio reporting on the coronavirus pandemic.

The makers of an award-winning science podcast on Spotify say they’re dropping their regular show amid the Joe Rogan COVID-19 misinformation row.

Wendy Zukerman and Blythe Terrell, respectively producer and editor of “Science Vs,” say they’ll now only make shows “intended to counteract misinformation being spread on Spotify.”

Scientistshealth professionals, and musicians including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell criticizing Spotify after Rogan hosted a guest on his podcast who broadcast misinformation about COVID-19 measures. Rogan released a video on Sunday apologising to Spotify for the backlash it received as a result of his show.

In a letter sent to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, published Monday, Terrell and Zukerman say Rogan’s show left listeners with a “skewed and inaccurate” view of COVID-19 vaccines, adding: “Spotify has done little to address this.”

Terrell and Zukerman say in the letter that throughout the pandemic, Spotify had provided Science Vs with “the resources we needed to produce accurate content about the coronavirus,” but Spotify’s support of Rogan “has felt like a slap in the face.”

In 2020, Science Vs won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s gold award for its reports on the pandemic.

“Until Spotify implements stronger methods to prevent the spread of misinformation on the platform, we will no longer be making new Science Vs episodes, except those intended to counteract misinformation being spread on Spotify,” Terrell and Zukerman say in their letter.

They add that rules released by Spotify on Sunday detailing how the platform deals with misinformation don’t go far enough.

Spotify acquired Rogan’s podcast in May 2020 for a sum reported to be in excess of $100 million. Vice reported in September 2020 that Spotify employees had raised concerns to management about transphobic content on Rogan’s show.

Rogan also sparked a public backlash in October 2020 after hosting right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on The Joe Rogan Experience.

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