After quietly removing over one hundred episodes of the highly popular Joe Rogan experience without warning or reason, just disappearing them in the dead of night like a dissident in the USSR, the Spotify president finally spoke out about the situation, doing so in a letter to employees.
The full text of the letter can be read in this Twitter thread, which includes screenshots of the letter sent by President Elk to the Spotify employees:
Full text of Spotify CEO Daniel Ek’s note to staff: pic.twitter.com/3FHlmzV3UW
— Peter Kafka (@pkafka) February 7, 2022
Elk begins the letter by validating those employees that are pushing for Rogan to be cut loose, condemning Rogan for his language, but also saying that silencing him is not the answer. He also pinned the episode removal on Rogan, claiming that doing so was Rogan’s decision:
“There are no words I can say to adequately convey how deeply sorry I am for the way The Joe Rogan Experience controversy continues to impact each of you. Not only are some of Joe Rogan’s comments incredibly hurtful – I want to make clear that they do not represent the values of this company. I know this situation leaves many of you feeling drained, frustrated and unheard.
“I think it’s important you’re aware that we’ve had conversations with Joe and his team about some of the content in his show, including his history of using some racially insensitive language. Following these discussions and his own reflections, he chose to remove a number of episodes from Spotify. He also issued his own apology over the weekend.
“While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more. And I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer. We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope. Looking at the issue more broadly, it’s critical thinking and open debate that powers real and necessary progress.
Elk also tossed the censorship-minded leftists a bone, pledging to spend on much on promoting “marginalized” voices as it spent on its famous Rogan contract, saying:
If we believe in having an open platform as a core value of the company, then we must also believe in elevating all types of creators, including those from underrepresented communities and a diversity of backgrounds. We’ve been doing a great deal of work in this area already but I think we can do even more. So I am committing to an incremental investment of $100 million for the licensing, development, and marketing of music (artists and songwriters) and audio content from historically marginalized groups. This will dramatically increase our efforts in these areas. While some might want us to pursue a different path, I believe that more speech on more issues can be highly effective in improving the status quo and enhancing the conversation altogether.
Much of the rest of the statement is typical corporate boilerplate about feeling heard and validated, and all those other things corporations didn’t once consider in times of American glory.
The main takeaway, the one most will focus on, is that Spotify isn’t cutting Rogan loose and trying to censor him at a time when the radical left is clamoring for it to do so. That’s a good start, but nowhere near enough; if the company truly cared about free speech it wouldn’t even be a question.
“Of course we’re not going to silence someone for using words we dislike” should have been the response. But it wasn’t; Elk defended a profitable deal and tossed the circling hyenas a bone, hoping they’d be distracted by his pledge to promote marginalized voices.
That type of half-hearted appeasement never works; it’ll infuriate the right and embolden the cancel culture jackals.
This story syndicated with permission from Will – Trending Politics
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