- 270 scientists and healthcare workers are calling on Spotify to mitigate the spread of misinformation.
- Joe Rogan recently interviewed Robert Malone, who made false statements about COVID-19 vaccines.
- Joe Rogan signed an estimated $100 million exclusivity deal with Spotify in 2020.
Two hundred seventy doctors, nurses, scientists, and educators signed an open letter calling on Spotify to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform following an episode of Joe Rogan’s popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
Rogan, who signed an estimated $100 million exclusivity deal with Spotify in 2020, recently interviewed Robert Malone, a medical doctor who claimed US citizens became “hypnotized” into wearing masks and getting COVID-19 vaccines due to a concept he called “mass formation psychosis.”
Psychology experts said there is no evidence for Malone’s claims, and the phrase “mass formation psychosis” does not exist in the American Psychological Association’s Dictionary of Psychology.
The open letter from the medical community states that Spotify allowing “The Joe Rogan Experience” to air Malone’s claims unchecked can “damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals.” Rolling Stone first reported on the letter.
“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,” the letter states.
Malone wrote in the 1980s about the benefits of using RNA or DNA to create a new type of vaccine, according to The Atlantic. Scientists built upon his research to eventually create mRNA vaccines, like the COVID-19 jabs produced by Pfizer and Moderna.
In recent years, Malone has appeared on conservative talk shows with Tucker Carlson and Glenn Beck baselessly claiming mRNA vaccines — such as Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine — make coronavirus infections worse.
In the past, Rogan has aired misinformation about COVID-19, including claims that young people should avoid vaccines. The former “Fear Factor” host and UFC commentator apologized for echoing a false claim about left-wing activists starting a forest fire in Oregon.
Some Spotify employees previously told Insider the company has taken a hands-off approach to Rogan due to his large reach. Spotify said “The Joe Rogan Experience” was the platform’s most popular podcast in 2021. According to Bloomberg, Spotify hosts more than 3 million podcasts, a steep increase from the few hundred thousand it hosted only a few years ago.
Spotify was not immediately available for comment.