Harry and Meghan address Spotify COVID controversy

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have “concerns” about how Spotify has allowed and promoted the spread of COVID-19 misinformation on its platform.

Prince Harry and Meghan, who inked an exclusive multiyear partnership with the service in December 2020, said Sunday that they are pressing Spotify to take more care about the rhetoric spread on its airwaves.

“Since the inception of Archewell, we have worked to address the real-time global misinformation crisis. Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of rampant mis- and disinformation every day,” a representative for their foundation said in a statement Sunday.

“Last April, our co-founders began expressing concerns to our partners at Spotify about the all-too-real consequences of COVID-19 misinformation on its platform. We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis. We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does.”

The statement never mentions Joe Rogan, but the timing lines up with the former UFC color commentator’s full-throated entrance into anti-vax conspiracies: in April 2021, Rogan told young, healthy people not to get vaccinated, drawing a quick rebuke from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser.

Since then, Rogan has spent much of his time online spreading misinformation about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, as well as lambasting mandates intended to keep people healthy.

A spokesperson for Spotify did not immediately return a request for comment from the Daily News Sunday.

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While Harry and Meghan have released just one episode — a Christmas special — as part of their Spotify deal, a number of other artists have pulled their own expansive catalogs, including Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Nils Lofgren and researcher Dr. Brené Brown, who has an exclusive deal for two podcasts.

“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” Young wrote.

Rogan signed an exclusive deal with Spotify in May 2020, worth a reported $100 million, to bring his entire library and new episodes to the platform, along with an estimated 11 million listeners.



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