A group of 270 scientists, doctors, health care workers and professors have signed an open letter slamming Joe Rogan for amplifying misleading claims about the coronavirus pandemic on his wildly popular “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast on Spotify.
The group, in the letter released this week, called on Spotify to establish a misinformation policy to moderate the kind of damaging commentary that is sometimes peddled by Rogan and his guests on its platform.
Rogan has a “concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic,” they wrote.
Spotify did not immediately respond to celebrity.land’s request for comment.
Rogan last year falsely suggested young, healthy people didn’t need to be vaccinated against the disease. He later backpedaled, admitting he was a “fucking moron” and “not a respected source of information, even for me.”
The comedian also baselessly suggested President Joe Biden faked receiving the booster shot on live TV.
“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,” they wrote.
Spotify has “a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform” but “presently has no misinformation policy,” they added.
Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health who signed the letter, described Rogan as “a menace to public health” for his promotion of anti-vaccine ideas.
“Having things like this on the Joe Rogan podcast gives a platform to these people and makes it a false balance. This is what really bothers me,” Wallace told Rolling Stone. “These are fringe ideas not backed in science, and having it on a huge platform makes it seem there are two sides to this issue. And there are really not. The overwhelming evidence is the vaccine works, and it is safe.”
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