We live in the world of free media, right? Anyone who wants to put something out there is going to have the right to say whatever they want. In fact, your freedom of speech is protected by the constitution! Yet, in the past few months, plenty of stories have shown that social media and other content platforms actually hold the key to what you can say or can’t say in what you post.
Just ask former President Donald Trump and his beef with Twitter. One of the most popular podcasters of all time, Joe Rogan, is now facing some censorship on his content as well!
In a report published by [Digital Music News] (https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2021/04/06/joe-rogan-spotify-removing-shows/) right about 42 interviews have been removed from the library of episodes that the show has on Spotify. Many of these interactions are discussions on controversial topics.
The guests that are being censored include the founder of the “Proud Boys” Gavin McInnes, as well comedian Chris D’ Elia. With D’Elia the issue is not the content in the interview. The accusations that the comedian is facing are what put him on the naughty list. While those accusations are no laughing matter it does seem more and more episodes will be taken down, as many of Joe’s previous guests have a checkered past.
Joe Rogan commented that he knew that he was being censored by the company since 2020. Here is where his situation is different than the regular podcaster recording from his or her basement.
The thing is Rogan signed an exclusive deal with Spotify to host episodes of his podcast on the platform. Rogan mentioned that Spotify management did say they did not want certain episodes on the platform. The service, though, was ready to give him 100 million dollars for the exclusive rights to the show. So it’s safe to say Rogen didn’t mind the censorship.
Independent artists have been taking to the Spotify Comunity Forum to voice their complaints that their music or other types of content is being censored by the platform. What Spotify mentions is that content creators have the option of indicating that their content is “explicit”. For example, if you’re using curse words in a song or podcast you should mark the content as explicit.
The problem with that is that your content won’t be available to people who have their safety settings on. As far as what Spotify does to police some of the explicit content that is going unlabeled there is not much information on the topic.
As mentioned before this is another one of those cases that is probably going to spark a lot of debate. Social media platforms that allow users to upload their content say that they have specific guidelines that users must follow to be able to stay on the platform.
In Rogan’s case, it’s becoming clear that he agreed to the censorship. Spotify wanted to keep the pulling of episodes under the radar. Presumably to not spark the public debate about freedom of speech that seems to show up every time something like this happens.