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(Reclaim The Net) –– Spotify, the audio streaming giant, is once again in the crosshairs of media critics for allowing an episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” that featured Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The episode is accused of spreading vaccine “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories” without sufficient censorship by the platform, and the media is questioning Spotify’s decision to host it.
Joe Rogan, a major podcasting force in the U.S., hosted the three-hour long show that touched on vaccine skepticism, 5G technology, and alternative COVID-19 treatments. This comes as part of a broader scrutiny from media outlets urging platforms to put a lid on content that challenges mainstream narratives and contradicts the stances of global health organizations.
Media outlets including Vice and The Verge point fingers at Robert F. Kennedy Jr., known for his criticism of vaccines and pharmaceutical companies, for allegedly making several false claims during the podcast. These include the claim linking vaccines to autism and an assertion regarding vaccines containing harmful forms of mercury. The media’s bone to pick with Spotify is its decision to not clamp down on Kennedy’s suggestion that “Wi-Fi radiation” could play a role in various chronic illnesses.
Peter Hotez, Baylor microbiology professor and public health advocate, threw the spotlight on the issue by sharing a critical article via Twitter. Not one to back down, Rogan threw down the gauntlet to Hotez for a debate with Kennedy, sweetening the pot with a $100,000 donation to charity if Hotez agreed. He didn’t.
Despite the uproar and calls for censorship, Spotify defended its position. A spokesperson from the company maintained that neither Rogan nor Kennedy crossed the line in terms of the platform’s policies.
Spotify’s history with attacks from the media is somewhat checkered. Flashback to early 2022, when artists including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell yanked their music from Spotify as a show of protest against Rogan’s questioning of COVID vaccine efficacy, including his statement that vaccines don’t halt infection spread.
Reprinted with permission from Reclaim The Net.