More Than 1,000 Health Experts Petition Spotify to Control Joe Rogan's False COVID-19 Info on His Podcast
Medical and science experts condemned Joe Rogan for airing false claims about the coronavirus pandemic and bogus treatments.
More than 1,000 health and science professionals have signed an open letter to Spotify, demanding the streaming platform curtail false COVID-19 claims made by Joe Rogan in his hugely popular podcast.
The petition slams "The Joe Rogan Experience" host for his history of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, vaccines and unproven treatments, calling them "a sociological issue of devastating proportions.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine,” the letter says.
The podcast, with an estimated 11 million listeners for each episode, is Spotify's most popular program, according to the streaming service. The average listener age is 24.
"It's very disconcerting to have this kind of disinformation on such a large platform," Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health, told Inside Edition Digital on Thursday.
Specifically, the letter calls out a December episode that featured Dr. Robert Malone, an anti-vaxxer who has made baseless vaccine claims, including that young people shouldn't be immunized, and that vaccinations put people who already have had COVID-19 at higher risk.
Malone has been banned from Twitter for violating the platform's COVID-19 misinformation policies.
"There's been a history of misinformation on this particular podcast, with telling young people that they shouldn't be vaccinated," Wallace said. "That's dangerous because the average age of his listeners is 24," said Wallace, who also monitors public statements made about the coronavirus.
For her, "the final straw was the Robert Malone interview" and its "baseless conspiracy theories that aren't based in science."
A request for comment sent by Inside Edition Digital to Spotify was not answered. The streaming platform has not publicly responded to the petition, which has been circulating since the new year.
"We just want them to come up with a clear policy for moderating the comments on this platform," Wallace said.
The open letter concludes, “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.”
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