The White House just weighed in on the Spotify misinformation debate and says there’s more work to be done.
Spotify is the sole platform that hosts the Joe Rogan Podcast, which in recent months spread misinformation about vaccine safety. Therefore, in response, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell both said they’d pull their music from the platform. Rogan has made multiple widely refuted comments on his podcast.
Neil Young and Joni Mitchell’s comments cited a signed letter to Spotify about misinformation from 270 medical professionals. The letter called on Spotify to do more about the misinformation spread on its platform. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek then said that the platform would be adding a content advisory to podcasts discussing COVID-19.
This gesture has widely been viewed as not enough to combat misinformation. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki discussed the move in a recent press briefing.
“This disclaimer… it’s a positive step. But we want every platform to be doing more to be calling out mis- and dis-information, while also uplifting accurate information,” Psaki told the press. “Ultimately, our view is that it is a positive step, but there is more that can be done.”
And it’s not just Spotify that Psaki wants to take precautions. It’s all platforms that serve as information hubs.
“Our hope is that all major tech platforms, and all major news sources for that matter, be responsible and be vigilant to ensure the American people have access to accurate information on something as significant as COVID-19,” she continued.
Spotify Continues To Face Backlash
The content advisory has not been enough to quell the backlash Spotify is facing for playing host to Joe Rogan.
Rogan himself has spoken out about the controversy. In an Instagram video posted on Sunday, he explained he never meant to be controversial, and that the podcast that started as him talking with friends turned into an “out-of-control juggernaut that I barely have control of.”
He also said he isn’t mad at Mitchell and Young for taking a stand against his podcast.
“I’m very sorry they feel that way. I most certainly don’t want that. I’m a Neil Young fan,” he said.
But more artists continue to leave the platform. Additionally, both Graham Nash and India Arie have also taken their music off the platform in protest of the spread of misinformation.
In a statement, Graham Nash explained his decision.
“Having heard the Covid disinformation spread by Joe Rogan on Spotify, I completely agree with and support my friend Neil Young and I am requesting that my solo recordings be removed from the service,” Nash said in a statement. “There is a difference between being open to varying viewpoints on a matter and knowingly spreading false information which some 270 medical professionals have derided as not only false but dangerous.”