A group of 270 scientists, doctors, healthcare professionals and professors have signed an open letter criticizing Joe Rogan for spreading misleading claims about the coronavirus pandemic on his hugely popular “Joe Rogan Experience” Spotify podcast.
The group, in a letter released this week, urged Spotify to establish a disinformation policy to mitigate malicious comments sometimes sold by Rogan and his guests on their platform.
They wrote that Rogan has a “history of spreading misinformation, especially regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Spotify did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Last year, Rogan falsely suggested that young, healthy people should not be vaccinated against the disease. He later backtracked, admitting that he was a “fucking moron” and “an unrespectable source of information, even for me.”
The comedian also wrongly suggested that President Joe Biden faked receiving the booster live.
The group highlighted a December episode in which Dr. Robert Malone, who was barred from Twitter for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, promoted “numerous unsubstantiated claims.”
“By allowing false and harmful claims to be spread, Spotify enables its hosted media to undermine public confidence in scientific research and raise doubts about the veracity of recommendations based on data provided by healthcare professionals,” they wrote.
Spotify “has a responsibility to contain the spread of disinformation on its platform,” but “does not currently have a disinformation policy,” they added.
Catherine Wallace, an epidemiologist at the School of Public Health at the University of Chicago, Illinois, who signed the letter, called Rogan a “public health threat” for his advocacy of anti-vaccination ideas.
“Things like that on Joe Rogan’s podcast give these people a platform and create a false balance. That’s what really worries me, ”Wallace told Rolling Stone magazine. “These are secondary ideas, not supported by science, and having them on a huge platform gives the impression that there are two sides to the problem. And they really are not. Overwhelming evidence that the vaccine works and is safe. ”