Doctors call out Spotify over ‘false and societally harmful assertions’ on Joe Rogan show
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized the nature of the anti-parasitic medication ivermectin.
A coalition of doctors and science educators is calling for Spotify to take action against misinformation spread on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast.
“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,” an open letter signed by 270 health care professionals stated.
Rogan, 53, has an estimated 11 million listeners and immense influence, according to the letter, which was reported by Rolling Stone.
Epidemiologist Katrine Wallace, who signed the letter, told the magazine that she views Rogan as “a menace to public health” and that his ideas are “fringe” and “not backed in science.” Wallace added that having Rogan and his guests “on a huge platform makes it seem there are two sides to the issue and there are really not. The overwhelming evidence is the vaccine works and it is safe.”
The health care professionals specifically took issue with a controversial episode that featured Robert Malone, a virologist whom they said promotes misinformation about COVID-19.
This episode has been heavily criticized by many experts for remarks regarding the pandemic and how the coronavirus impacts people, especially those who are younger.
Rogan during the show said that if a 21-year-old asks him if they should get the vaccine, “I’ll go, ‘No.’ ”
The podcast host, who was infected with COVID-19 while unvaccinated, took the scientifically unproven anti-parasitic medication ivermectin as treatment.
The new letter does not call on Spotify to remove Rogan’s show but instead to develop a counter-misinformation policy to ensure damaging ideas are not propagated on the streaming service.
Spotify previously has not condemned Rogan’s remarks, which have been criticized by medical experts including White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci.
The Hill has reached out to Spotify and Rogan’s show for comment.
Updated Friday at 9:20 a.m.