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‘Science Vs’ Podcast Creators Say Failure To Censor Joe Rogan Is ‘A Slap In The Face’

There are plenty of retro musicians taking a stand against Joe Rogan by threatening to remove their music from Spotify. Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and others have publicly denounced Rogan’s popular podcast on the platform, claiming he is guilty of spreading “misinformation” for being willing to host guests with all different kinds of opinions.

Now another podcast is joining the quest to get Rogan deplatformed. “Science Vs” is also available through the Spotify streaming service. The two hosts called the platform’s decision to keep supporting Rogan “a slap in the face” and vowed to restructure their show until changes were made.

Science Vs won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s gold award in 2020 for their pandemic coverage. However, The Joe Rogan Experience is far and away Spotify’s most popular property as the number one most listened-to podcast. Meanwhile, Science Vs isn’t among the top 100 most popular on Spotify’s ranking page.

“Until Spotify implements stronger methods to stop the spread of misinformation on the platform, we will no longer be making new Science Vs episodes, except those intended to counteract misinformation being spread on Spotify,” podcast host Wendy Zukerman and editor Blythe Terrell wrote in an open letter to Spotify chief executive Daniel Elk, which was shared to Twitter Monday evening.

“We know we have a critical role to play in supporting creator expression while balancing it with the safety of our users,” Elk wrote in an open letter. “In that role, it is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them.”

For their part, Spotify vowed to “publish long-standing platform rules” in response to the criticism, plus are planning to “add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19.” However, they did not indicate that Rogan was in jeopardy of losing his show.

Rogan also shared a lengthy response to the matter over the weekend, saying he is committed to presenting both sides of any argument in an attempt to learn about controversial topics rather than just catering to one side or the other. 

The podcast host said in part, “Do I get things wrong? Absolutely. I get things wrong, but I try to correct them. Whenever I get something wrong. I try to correct it because I’m interested in telling the truth. I’m interested in finding out what the truth is. And I’m interested in having interesting conversations with people that have differing opinions. I’m not interested in only talking to people that have one perspective.”

Many news outlets classified Rogan’s response as an apology, but in reality it was mostly an explanation and defense of guests he’d had on in the past. The former “Fear Factor” star prides himself on presenting a fair and balanced approach to hot button issues. 

However, Rogan did say he would “make sure I’ve researched these topics” and “maybe try harder to get people with differing opinions” going forward.

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