Spotify CEO Stands By Joe Rogan, Stock Prices Continue To Fall

Spotify hasn't been out of the headlines since Neil Young pulled his music from the platform. The service has placed itself in the centre of a debate surrounding Covid-19 misinformation, as it supports podcaster Joe Rogan. Now, as its stock prices continue to fall for a second week, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek stands by Rogan, saying that he will not change the service's policies just because this case has gained notoriety.

Speaking on an earnings call, Ek says that Rogan does have to abide by Spotify's policies, but suggested these have not been breached by his podcast. He says he is pleased with the response Spotify has taken, which has seen content advisories added to anything that discusses Covid-19 on the platform.

"This is a very complicated issue, [I'm] really proud of the steps we took following the concerns raised by the medical and scientific communities”, Ek opened during the call (thanks, Music Business Worldwide), when pressed on the Rogan controversy.

"The important part here is that we don’t change our policies based on one creator nor do we change it based on any media cycle or calls from anyone else. Our policies have been carefully written with the input from numbers of internal and external experts in this space. And I do believe they are right for our platform.”

Ek did reassure the public that while Rogan is the top-performing podcaster on the platform, he would face consequences if they felt he had breached Spotify's Covid misinformation guidelines.

Right now, the rules currently forbid creators from "asserting that AIDS, COVID-19, cancer or other serious life-threatening diseases are a hoax or not real", and "encouraging people to purposely get infected with COVID-19 in order to build immunity." Rogan has shared the belief that young people should not be vaccinated, and that natural immunity would serve them better. He has also been a proponent of the unfounded belief that ivermectin should be used to treat Covid-19 – a movement that saw 1,440 cases of ivermectin poisoning in the US alone.

Rogan, for his part, has explained on social media that he will try to have a more even balance of views on his podcast. He also says it was not his intention to spread misinformation.

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