Spotify appeared to quietly delete 70 Joe Rogan podcast episodes unrelated to his COVID-19 misinformation controversy

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  • Spotify appeared to remove over 70 episodes of Joe Rogan's podcast on Friday.

  • The move comes as several artists boycott Spotify over claims Rogan spreads COVID-19 misinformation.

  • The removed episodes feature various political commentators and comedians.

Spotify appeared to quietly remove 70 episodes of Joe Rogan's podcast on Friday, amid a controversy over COVID-19 misinformation that led to multiple artists removing their music from the platform.

The missing episodes were first spotted by JREMissing, a fan-made website that detects which episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience are unavailable on Spotify.

The removed episodes appear to date from before the pandemic. Many feature right-wing commentators or conspiracy theorists, including Alex Jones of Infowars, Milo Yiannopoulos and Owen Benjamin, and Gavin Miles McInnes.

Some of the removed episodes feature left-wing commentators, such as Kyle Kulinski and Marc Maron, and comedians like Amy Schumer and Russell Peters.

It's unclear whether Spotify's removal of episodes is linked to Rogan's ongoing COVID-19 misinformation controversy, as his recent interview with anti-vaxxer Robert Malone is still available.

Spotify and representatives for Joe Rogan did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

In recent weeks artists including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have demanded that their music be removed from the platform because they say Rogan spreads misinformation on the platform about COVID-19 vaccines.

Rogan responded on Instagram by promising to "do my best to make sure I've researched these topics" in the future.

Joe Rogan continued to stoke controversy as he returned to Spotify with a new episode Friday, in which he claimed that "lockdowns don't work."

The podcaster also incorrectly claimed that Montreal was under a 10pm curfew. It was lifted on January 17.

On Saturday, Rogan took to Instagram to address another controversy of recently-surfaced clips of him saying the N-word.

Rogan said it was "the most regretful and shameful thing" he's ever had to address and said that he now knows it is never acceptable for a white person to use the word in any context.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek recently defended the decision to keep Rogan on the platform, arguing that Spotify is a distribution platform and not a publisher.

The podcaster signed an estimated $100 million exclusive deal with Spotify in 2020, and his podcast reportedly brings in an estimated 11 million listeners per episode.

Read the original article on Business Insider