White House press secretary Jen Psaki addressed podcaster Joe Rogan and his relationship with audio streaming service Spotify at a press conference Tuesday, urging tech platforms to take stronger action against misinformation.
Rogan and Spotify, with whom the podcaster has an exclusive contract, have been under fire the last few weeks due to several podcast episodes which critics say contain misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. Spotify announced Sunday that it would begin attaching advisories to podcast episodes featuring discussions of COVID-19 that would include links to information from health authorities.
“This disclaimer, it’s a positive step, but we want every platform to continue doing more to call out mis- and disinformation while also uplifting accurate information,” Psaki said.
Psaki’s comments follow remarks made by Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy on MSNBC on Jan. 25 in which he urged tech platforms to censor Rogan and “use the power that we have to limit the spread of misinformation” in response to a question about Rogan’s presence on Spotify.
“Our hope is that all major tech platforms and all major news sources for that matter be responsible and be vigilant,” Psaki said.
Psaki on @joerogan and "misinformation" on Spotify:
"Our hope is that all major tech platforms and all major news sources for that matter be responsible and be vigilant…we want every platform to continue doing more…" pic.twitter.com/W3JtHZcicx
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) February 1, 2022
The White House has previously urged social media platforms to combat the spread of misinformation regarding COVID-19 and vaccines, with Psaki announcing in July 2021 that the White House was flagging posts on Facebook for the company’s fact-checkers to review.
President Joe Biden took a firmer stance, arguing that Facebook was “killing people” by not adequately policing COVID-19 misinformation.
Rogan’s presence on Spotify has drawn boycotts from several artists and podcasters including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell who have requested Spotify remove their music.