Science podcaster calls Spotify’s support of Joe Rogan a ‘slap in the face’

The Spotify logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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Jan 31 (Reuters) – The executive producer and host of Gimlet Media’s Science Vs podcast has said she will devote her fact-checking show exclusively to contradicting misinformation on other podcasts aired by parent company Spotify.

Wendy Zukerman’s announcement builds on protests by Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and others against Spotify’s Joe Rogan Experience podcast. They say Spotify is not doing enough to prevent the spread of misinformation about COVID-19.

Zukerman posted a copy of an email she sent to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, in which she said she considered the platform’s support of Rogan a “slap in the face,” after spent months encouraging his listeners to switch to the service because of his support. for his factual science podcast.

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Spotify acquired Gimlet Media in 2019.

Zukerman wrote that Rogan’s interview with Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease expert who has become well known among anti-vaccine Americans, took the vaccine information “repeatedly out of context” and missed it. of scientific evidence that contradicts his claims – a forthcoming subject Science Vs the episode will address.

She said Spotify’s platform rules don’t go far enough to fix the problem.

“Until Spotify implements more robust methods to prevent the spread of misinformation on the platform, we will no longer be making new episodes of Science Vs, except those intended to contradict the misinformation being spread. on Spotify,” Zukerman wrote in an email to Ek that she posted on Twitter.

Rogan’s interview with Malone prompted a protest from rock star Neil Young, who said he didn’t want his music played on a platform that promoted “misinformation about vaccines”.

He added, “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.” Folk music star Joni Mitchell has taken down her music in support of Young.

Rogan apologized in an Instagram video post on Sunday and promised more balance on his show. Spotify said it would add a content notice to any episode with a discussion about COVID.

Reuters could not immediately reach Gimlet or Spotify for comment. Zukerman’s post appeared on his verified Twitter account.

Spotify acquired Gimlet as part of an investment in its podcast business, an audio content expansion that was highlighted with its subsequent deal in 2020 to bring Rogan exclusively to the platform in a 100% deal. millions of dollars.

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Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski Editing by Robert Birsel

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