Spotify CEO backs free speech, says platform has no ‘editorial responsibility’ for Joe Rogan’s podcast

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In a recent employee town hall, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek reportedly informed staff that the platform cannot actively tell content creators what to publish. On Wednesday morning, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek held a town hall for his employees, during which he addressed the ongoing controversy surrounding Joe Rogan.

According to two employees present at the event, Ek reiterated that as a platform, Spotify cannot tell Rogan who to interview or what to talk about.

Following Wednesday’s town hall, two employees spoke to the Los Angeles Times under condition of anonymity.

According to one employee, Ek said that “Spotify doesn’t approve Rogan’s guest list. They don’t look at his content until it goes up, and so they don’t have editing power.” He added that, “They just look at it after it’s already on the platform and remove it if it doesn’t meet guidelines.”

A second employee said that Ek and chief content and advertising business officer Dawn Ostroff “repeatedly used the phrase ‘if we were a publisher,’ very strongly implying we are not a publisher, so we don’t have editorial responsibility.” The town hall’s chatroom was largely comments “about how Spotify’s exclusive with Rogan means it’s more than just a regular platform,” the employee added.

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