Joe Rogan
Screenshot from the Joe Rogan Experience

Is Spotify Limiting Free Speech?

Joe Rogan announced a few months ago that his podcast would be moving exclusively to Spotify. Along with listening to new episodes, listeners would have access to the entire catalog of Joe Rogan’s podcast. But when people started sifting through the archives, they found that some interviews of Rogan’s most polarizing guests were not available.

I’d be lying if I said I’d never listened to Rogan’s podcast. He interviews such a wide range of characters that almost everyone will be able to tune in for a figure of their liking. Science, conspiracies, and political ideologists ranging from the far right to the far left have found their way onto his show. That’s what makes his show so great. But it seems that it is the far right weirdos that are getting their episodes pulled.

Rogan’s platform is all about free speech. That’s why anyone can tune in. But why are these episodes being targeted? Did Spotify do this on their own? Is it part of the deal between Joe Rogan and Spotify? The former seems to be the most likely case. If so, could Spotify be in breech of contract? Free speech gets really blurred when private business are involved. And what does this mean about the future of podcasting on big platforms? This argument has come up a lot on Twitter and Facebook in the past. What are the limits of free speech and who gets to set those limits?

The Joe Rogan podcast is the number one podcast in America. Forbes estimates that Rogan has close to 200 million monthly downloads. Spotify has tried to expand its exclusive podcasts in the past, such as their purchase of the Rigner. Rogan has never given off that he’d sell out for money, but god only knows how big that contract deal is. I don’t know the specifics of it, but I am curious to know who’s idea it was to remove those episodes. What do you guys think? Is Spotify limiting free speech, or is Joe Rogan a sell out and compromising his own beliefs for cash?

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