White House urges Spotify to take further action on Joe Rogan: ‘More can be done’

Joe Rogan, host of The Joe Rogan Experience, at UFC 225 (Getty Images)
Joe Rogan, host of The Joe Rogan Experience, at UFC 225 (Getty Images)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki called on music and podcast streaming giant Spotify to do “more” in the fight against Covid-19 misinformation on Tuesday.

At her daily press briefing, President Joe Biden’s top spokeswoman was asked about a decision by the company to add disclaimers linking to Covid-19 information hubs to any piece of content that includes discussion of the pandemic, vaccines, or Covid-19 itself. She responded that the change was a good step, but that the company could take steps (if it wanted) to actively prohibit content that contained misinformation that experts have warned is prolonging the pandemic and leading to more deaths.

Ms Psaki said that it was the responsibility of all companies and particularly that of those platforms where Americans get their news to “be responsible and be vigilant to ensure the American people have accurate information about something as significant as Covid-19. That certainly includes Spotify.”

“Ultimately our view is that it’s a good step, it’s a positive step, but there’s more that can be done,” said the press secretary.

Her comments come as two musical artists with massive followings, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, decided to remove their music from the company’s streaming service in protest over podcast host Joe Rogan’s espousal of misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccines. Among other false statements, the widely-popular host has suggested that younger Americans are not at risk from the virus and do not need to receive a vaccine.

In reality, the virus does affect younger Americans (particularly those with complicating preexisting health issues) and also prevents the spread of the virus to those who are more vulnerable to the disease’s more dangerous symptoms.

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