Spotify appears to have quietly removed roughly 70 episodes of Joe Rogan’s podcast after expressing support for the comedian, who’s stirred controversy for spreading COVID misinformation.
The apparent removal of the episodes, all of which were recorded years before the pandemic began, was spotted by JREMissing. The fan-made website uses Spotify’s API to compare available episodes to a database of all episodes recorded.
It’s unclear when the episodes stopped being available. Roughly 40 episodes had previously disappeared from Spotify.
CNET confirmed that the episodes newly reported as missing weren’t available on Spotify anymore. The company and Rogan didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The apparent removal of the episodes comes as controversy swirls around. pulled their music from Spotify after an pointed to Rogan’s podcast as evidence the streaming service was giving COVID misinformation a platform.
CEO Daniel Ek has defended the inclusion of Rogan on the company’s roster and told a company town hall that the podcast was vital to Spotify’s success.
“If we want even a shot at achieving our bold ambitions, it will mean having content on Spotify that many of us may not be proud to be associated with,” Ek said during the town hall. “Not anything goes, but there will be opinions, ideas and beliefs that we disagree with strongly and even makes us angry or sad.”