Spotify Forms Advisory Council Amid Joe Rogan Backlash

Joe Rogan Experience podcast seen on a smartphone
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News & Politics
Damir Mujezinovic

UFC commentator Joe Rogan, the host of The Joe Rogan Experience, has been the target of vicious attacks in recent months, with critics accusing him of transphobia and racism.

But Spotify stood by Rogan and pushed back against liberal demands for censorship, though the platform's CEO Daniel Ek apologized to employees.

Spotify Safety Advisory Council

In a blog post announcing the creation of the Safety Advisory Council, Spotify said its main goal is to be "more transparent about our safety efforts."

"At a high level, the council’s mission is to help Spotify evolve its policies and products in a safe way while making sure we respect creator expression," the company said.

"Our council members will advise our teams in key areas like policy and safety-feature development as well as guide our approach to equity, impact, and academic research."

The founding members and partner organizations of the Spotify Safety Advisory Council include the Dangerous Speech Project, Institute for Strategic Dialogue, Center for Democracy and Technology, and a number of similar organizations.

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In a statement supplied to Reuters, Spotify’s global head of public affairs Dustee Jenkins said the idea behind the council is to "bring in these world-renowned experts, many of whom have been in this space for a number of years, to realize a relationship with them."

Jenkins said Spotify is meeting with these experts "on a pretty regular basis, so that we can be much more proactive about how we're thinking about these issues across the company."

Rogan Controversies

Joe Rogan experience podcast is seen on a smartphone
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The move to form the Safety Advisory Council comes amid intense pressure from liberal groups, activists, and politicians to censor and cancel Rogan.

However, according to Sarah Hoyle, Spotify’s head of trust and safety, the council was actually not formed in response to "any particular creator or situation."

Hoyle explained to Reuters that the body was formed as part of a broader effort to tackle the challenges Spotify faces.

"How do we augment the internal expertise that we already have at Spotify, to tap into these folks whose life's work has been studying this, and they're on the ground in markets all around the world, just like our users, just like our creators," Hoyle elaborated.

Impact On Rogan's Career

Podcast host Joe Rogan looks on
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Rogan discussed the attempts to cancel his show in a recent episode, saying that activists' attempts have backfired.

According to Rogan, his subscriptions actually went up as liberals attacked him -- he ended up gaining around two million new subscribers.

Rogan also stressed on his show that he has always been a liberal, despite what Democrats and their allies say about him.

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