Spotify Quietly Deletes 70 Episodes Of Joe Rogan's Podcast

Spotify is continuing to get criticism for its handling of the Joe Rogan controversy. The streaming platform has been generating headlines over the past month after musicians like Neil Young, India.Arie, and Joni Mitchell removed their music from the platform over Rogan's amplification of mis and dis-information on his podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience," according to Billboard. Rogan invited controversial guests on his podcast, which is an exclusive on the music-sharing platform, and repeatedly shared false and dangerous information about COVID-19 and vaccine-efficacy. The continuous spread of misinformation by Rogan has prompted doctors to petition against Rogan and Spotify, per Rolling Stone.

In response to musicians pulling their music off the service, Daniel Ek — Spotify's CEO — defended its $100 million deal with Rogan's podcast, saying that they are a "publisher" and "do not have creative control" over his content, in a town hall meeting on February 3 (via The Verge). Ek also said the platform would take action if Rogan's podcast violated their policies — and he may have kept true to his word. The streaming giant has quietly deleted 70 episodes of Rogan's podcast. Here's why they were removed.

Joe Rogan's deleted podcasts contained offensive and insensitive content

While Spotify has not claimed any responsibility for Joe Rogan spreading misinformation on "The Joe Rogan Experience," they have quietly removed over 70 episodes of his podcast for violating their policies, according to Rolling Stone. The outlet notes the missing shows featured both comedians and far-right pundits including Amy Schumer, Andy Dick, Bill Burr, and Marc Maron.

It is unclear what policies Rogan's podcast episodes violated, but according to Spotify's platform rules, podcasts or music could be removed for "dangerous" and "deceptive" content, such as "asserting that AIDS, COVID-19, cancer or other serious life threatening diseases are a hoax or not real," or "promoting or suggesting" dangerous rhetoric about vaccines. Rogan had previously said that young people did not "need" to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the BBC.

Meanwhile, a Reddit thread theorized that the episodes were removed because a lot of them contained racial insults and offensive content. Users noted that Rogan, Tom Segura, and Greg Fitzsimmons said the n-word numerous times on their episodes. The removal also comes after musician India.Arie showed a now-viral clip of Rogan saying the n-word numerous times on his podcast over the years (via Deadline).

Following Arie's video, Rogan issued an apology on Instagram on February 5, calling his use of the n-word the "most regretful and shameful thing that I've ever had to talk about publicly." Rogan also said that a majority of the videos showing him saying the word were taken "out-of-context" and that he hasn't said it "in years."