The Biden administration believes Spotify’s decision to add warnings to podcasts dealing with Covid-19 is a “positive step,” according to press secretary Jen Psaki.
The move comes after a number of musicians called for their music to be removed from the streaming service amid growing controversy over the Joe Rogan show. Psaki said the White House expected other platforms to do the same.
Joe Rogan has promised to do more to offer more balanced points of view. Speaking to reporters during a briefing on Tuesday, Ms Psaki said the White House was encouraged by Spotify’s decision to add disclaimers, but that tech platforms and media outlets should collectively do more.
“Our hope is [that] every major tech platform and every major news source is accountable and vigilant in ensuring that the American people have access to accurate information about something as important as Covid,” he said.
While the disclaimers were a “positive step,” the White House still wanted “all platforms to continue to do more to expose disinformation. Musicians including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have been outspoken critics of Rogan and called for his music to be removed from Spotify, which they accused of helping spread misinformation about Covid.
The controversy largely centered around two recent podcast episodes of Joe Rogan’s experience with cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough and immunologist Dr. Robert Malone. Both expressed views that are contrary to those of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Amid the growing buzz on Sunday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek announced that the new warnings would redirect users to a hub containing information about Covid-19.
In a statement posted online, Ek said “it was clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to widely accepted information from the medical and scientific communities.”
It also said that Spotify had published platform rules intended to prevent contributors from sharing potentially harmful information.
Rogan denied trying to spread disinformation, saying he never tried to do anything with the podcast “other than just talk to people.”