270 doctors, scientists, nurses, and educators have signed an open letter to Spotify, urging the platform to prevent the spread of COVID-19 misinformation on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
In 2020, Spotify struck a multi-million dollar exclusivity deal with Rogan. Since then, the podcaster has reprotedly spread numerous unchecked conspiracy theories and COVID-19 misinformation to the public.
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The latest incident occurred when Dr. Robert Malone appeared on the New Year’s Eve episode of JRE. Prior to his appearance, Malone was suspended from Twitter for posting a video defending theories about the dangers of mass vaccination, specifically in children and young adults. During his podcast appearance, Malone spoke with Rogan about his self-created phrase “mass information psychosis”, arguing that a third of the population is being hypnotized into wearing masks and getting vaccinated. AP news fact-checked his theory and spoke with professionals in the psychology field who claim that the phrase has “no academic credibility.”
Malone’s appearance is just one of the many misinformed concerns included in the open letter. Rogan has promoted the use of ivermectin, a drug that hasn’t been approved by the FDA to treat COVID-19. He has also suggested that young “healthy” people shouldn’t get vaccinated but has retracted this statement.
The letter also raises concern for Rogan’s audience demographic. The average age of his audience is 24, and a study from Washington State found that unvaccinated individuals between the ages of 12-34 are more likely to be hospitalized than those who have received the vaccine.
Spotify has yet to respond to the open letter.