Joe Rogan: 270 scientists write letter demanding Spotify address misinformation after anti-vax podcast episode

Podcast host previously discouraged young people from getting vaccinated

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 13 January 2022 09:01
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Joe Rogan says he took Ivermectin after catching Covid-19

Spotify is being asked to address Covid misinformation by hundreds of scientists and medical professionals, following another controversial Joe Rogan anti-vax episode.

Rogan, who has a reported $100m podcast deal with the streaming giant, interviewed medical doctor Robert Malone in a recent episode, who claimed on his show that Americans were “hypnotised” into wearing masks and getting vaccines.

Malone also told The Joe Rogan Experience that the country suffered from “mass formation psychosis”, which psychology experts say is a concept that does not even exist.

Now, 270 members of the science and medical community have written an open letter to Spotify, saying that Rogan allowing the claims to go unchecked cab “damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt ion the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals.”

“This is not only a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to thrive on its platform,” the letter states.

The interview has already been removed from YouTube, while Twitter banned Dr Malone’s account earlier this month for breaking its rules on Covid-19 misinformation.

The Independent has contacted Spotify for comment.

It is not the first time that Rogan’s show has featured Covid-19 misinformation.

In an April 2021 episode of his podcast he discouraged young people from getting vaccinated, saying, “if you’re like 21 years old, and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I’ll go no.’”

He later walked back his comments, saying he is “not an anti-vax person” and that he is “not a respected source of information, even for me”.

Rogan himself announced last September that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and had suffered from “fevers and sweats”, which caused him to postpone a show in Nashville.

He has also promoted the concept of taking de-worming medication Ivermectin to treat the virus, without any medical evidence supporting it.

Spotify said that Rogan’s podcast was the most popular one on its platform in 2021.

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