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270 doctors, scientists call on Spotify to end misinformation on Joe Rogan podcast

(JRE/Spotify)

A group of 270 scientists, doctors, professors and healthcare workers are asking Spotify to “take action against the mass-misinformation events which continue to occur,” on The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.


The group wrote an open letter to the streaming platform, asking it to “establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform,” citing that the podcast is promoting false claims about COVID-19. Among those that signed the letter included a professor from Harvard, nurse practitioners and Dr. Alyssa Fears, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Specifically, the letter took issue with the “highly controversial” episode #1757 that aired on Dec. 31 featuring Dr. Robert Malone, pointing out that Malone had been suspended from Twitter for spreading COVID-19 misinformation and that he used Rogan’s platform to promote “an unfounded theory.”

Rogan, an Austin resident, has been running his JRE podcast since 2009, where he brings on different guests for lengthy discussions. Last year his more than $100 million Spotify deal went into effect that made his content exclusive to the streaming platform. It was the No. 1 streamed podcast on the platform for 2021 globally.

Spotify chief content and advertising business officer said back in October the platform doesn’t allow inaccurate, harmful or malicious content. However, the platform has faced criticism for Rogan's podcast in the past.

The letter alleges that episode #1757 is not the only problem. It cites Rogan’s open criticism of vaccination in young people and children on the podcast, claims that mRNA vaccines are “gene therapy,” remarks comparing pandemic policies to the Holocaust, sharing theories that societal leaders have “hypnotized” the public and that his show “promote(s) numerous baseless claims.”

The letter mentions that the average JRE listener is 24 years old and according to data from Washington State, unvaccinated 12-34 are 12 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID than fully-vaccinated individuals.

“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. We, the undersigned doctors, nurses, scientists, and educators thus call on Spotify to immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform.”

Rogan and Spotify have not issued a response to the open letter.

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