They disappeared into the virtual void.
Eagle-eyed fans have pointed out that dozens of episodes of Joe Rogan’s controversial podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, have disappeared from Spotify this week – which the entertainment platform has attributed to a digital glitch.
“Spotify is aware of this technical issue and we are investigating it now,” a Spotify spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times. The digital disappearance was uncovered by JRE Missing, an automated watchdog keeping tabs on Rogan’s episodes.
According to the site, the glitch affected a whopping 36 episodes, which were reportedly pre-taped before the podcast provider acquired the show — including the catalog of previous episodes — in 2020 for an estimated $200 million.
Of course, given Spotify’s history of secretly deleting “JRE” episodes because of controversial content, the phenomenon may seem suspicious.
However, the final batch appeared to have been accidentally ambushed by Houdini, as it contained a grab bag of guests including Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw, former Hawaii Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and musicians Post Malone and Everlast; and comedians Eddie Izzard and Bryan Callen, the LA Times reported.
In the past, the Swedish streaming giant had deliberately deleted over 100 episodes of the podcast, many of which featured prominent far-right figures and conspiracy theorists.
Spotify recently canceled over 70 episodes amid backlash – spurring an exodus of A-list celebs from the platform – after Rogan, 54, allegedly killed anti-vaccination suspect Dr. Interviewed Robert Malone in a New Year’s episode. This was also around the same time that video compilations of UFC commentator Rogan using the N-word in the podcast began circulating the internet.
Despite the crackdown, the comedian, who reportedly averages 11 million listeners per episode, claimed he gained a whopping 2 million subscribers amid the uproar.