Joe Rogan’s Interview About COVID-19 Vaccines Has 270 Doctors, Physicians, and Science Educators Begging Spotify to Crack Down on Dangerous Misinformation
Joe Rogan is the longtime host of the hugely popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. Since 2009, Rogan has used his podcast as a way to chat with everyone from actors and comedians to politicians and conspiracy theorists. While many fans love Rogan for the open line of dialogue that he has with his guests, he has caused controversy on occasion due to his own political opinions and the guests he has on his podcast.
Recently, Rogan sparked backlash when his interview with Dr. Robert Malone went viral, causing a wave of anti-Rogan sentiment to flood the internet – and for many to call for Rogan’s removal from Spotify.
Joe Rogan’s interview with Dr. Robert Malone received major backlash
In December, Joe Rogan sat down for an interview with Dr. Robert Malone, a scientist who worked on early research into the mRNA technology behind top coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines. Malone is a controversial presence in the scientific realm these days, however, due to the fact that he is openly critical of the mRNA vaccines.
Malone has suggested that coronavirus vaccines could make infections worse, however, that has been disproven, according to The Atlantic. In fact, Malone has been open about his disdain for the way the coronavirus pandemic has been handled, even getting banned from social media platforms like Twitter – and in his conversation with Rogan, Malone reignited the controversy.
At one point in the interview, which ran a little over three hours in length, Malone stated that getting vaccinated for coronavirus puts people who already have had coronavirus at higher risk. It wasn’t long after the interview was released to Spotify that it went viral, with medical experts calling into question the legitimacy of Malone’s claims – and slamming Rogan for having the doctor on his podcast in the first place.
What are public health experts saying about Joe Rogan?
After Rogan’s interview with Dr. Robert Malone went viral, doctors and scientists quickly spoke out. According to NPR, researchers and other medical professionals began calling on Spotify to crack down on misinformation, releasing an open letter claiming that the reach of podcasts such as Joe Rogan’s could prove to be very dangerous – especially since Rogan himself has such a large audience. Additionally, these experts have noted that listening to podcasts is traditionally a solo activity, which might further encourage listeners to embrace false information.
Rolling Stone notes that the open letter received more than 270 signatures from doctors, scientists, and science educators, all of whom agree that “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
Although the letter does call out Rogan by name, the letter also notes that Spotify should take the stance they recommend for any podcast or show that promotes misinformation. Even as top musicians like Neil Young fled the platform in solidarity with the doctors and scientists, Spotify as a company is standing by Rogan, with the New York Post reporting that Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is proud to host “diverse voices” on the platform, even if Rogan’s stance is one that he might personally disagree with.
Spotify now marks podcast episodes with a COVID-19 label but has not taken further action to remove misinformation from the platform. Spotify did remove 113 episodes of Rogan’s podcast that contained Rogan using racial slurs, according to The Verge.
Joe Rogan is one of the top creators on the Spotify platform
Joe Rogan has long been one of the biggest names in the podcast space, but when he moved his show to Spotify in December 2020, his platform grew even bigger. Rogan inked a massive deal with Spotify to the tune of $100 million, making him one of the biggest creators on the streaming platform. Notably, Rogan’s own political affiliations have often been the subject of chatter amongst fans, with many struggling to define the podcast host as either Republican or Democrat.
While Rogan has a history of favoring candidates from either political party, he’s very clear on one point – he’s not a fan of the Biden administration and strongly disagrees with the handling of the pandemic. He’s been openly critical of mask mandates and has stated that he has no intention of getting the coronavirus vaccine, even though he’s fought COVID-19 in the past.