A group of 260 scientists, doctors, professors, and healthcare workers have written an open letter calling Joe Rogan’s podcast “mass-misinformation events,” and asking host platform Spotify to “immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation.”
The group is specifically concerned about The Joe Rogan Experience’s approach to COVID-19. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine,” they wrote.
The letter focuses on “a highly controversial episode featuring guest Dr. Robert Malone (#1757). The episode has been criticized for promoting baseless conspiracy theories,” and Malone himself was “suspended from Twitter for spreading misinformation about COVID-19. Dr. Malone used the JRE platform to further promote numerous baseless claims, including several falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines and an unfounded theory that societal leaders have ‘hypnotized’ the public. Many of these statements have already been discredited. Notably, Dr. Malone is one of two recent JRE guests who has compared pandemic policies to the Holocaust. These actions are not only objectionable and offensive, but also medically and culturally dangerous.”
The signees argue that Rogan is endangering his fans. “The average age of JRE listeners is 24 years old and according to data from Washington State, unvaccinated 12-34 year olds are 12 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID than those who are fully vaccinated.”
According to the letter, Spotify is equally culpable: “By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals.” So far, Spotify hasn’t issued a response.
Last month, Joe Rogan canceled his sold-out 4/20 show in Vancouver, Canada because the unvaccinated podcast host is unable to meet the country’s COVID-19 requirements for travelers. He’s also pushed the unfounded conspiracy that President Biden faked his booster shot, and even told young people not to get vaccinated, saying, “I don’t think that if you’re a young, healthy person, that you need it.”