Joe Rogan and his Spotify podcast are a ‘public health threat’

Shock jock Joe Rogan is hitting all the wrong notes on Spotify.

A group of 270 experts wrote an open letter to Sweden’s audio streaming service condemning the top-rated show, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

The doctors, researchers and medical professionals who co-signed the statement expressed concern that the 54-year-old outspoken host of the show is making millions from spreading false medical advice – to the detriment the health of its listeners.

The letter also asked the music streaming service to “establish a clear and public policy for moderating misinformation on its platform.”

“Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, although the company currently has no misinformation policy,” they wrote.

Experts wrote that Rogan has “a concerning history of spreading misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The campaign was started in part by infectious disease epidemiologist and Boston Children’s Hospital researcher Jessica Malaty Rivera, according to Rolling Stone. She has over 38,000 followers on Instagram, where concerned fans have asked her for help debunking some of Rogan’s claims.

“The Joe Rogan Experience” is one of the highest-rated podcasts in the world, especially since joining Spotify in 2020 in an estimated $100 million deal. The show attracts around 11 million listeners per episode.

“Mass disinformation events of this magnitude have extraordinarily dangerous ramifications,” they wrote in their letter.

“When I saw they were victims of this I spoke to colleagues and we said something needed to be done at this point.”

Jessica Malaty Rivera, researcher in infectious disease epidemiology at Boston Children’s Hospital

Rivera was prompted to take action after listening to an episode featuring virologist Dr. Robert Malone, who was recently banned from Twitter for promoting vaccine misinformation. She found that even colleagues and friends whom she considered “quite wise and shrewd” had fallen prey to the charlatan. “When I saw they were victims of this, I spoke to colleagues and we said something had to be done at this point,” Rivera said.

Co-signer Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health, told Rolling Stone that Rogan was “a threat to public health,” particularly for espousing anti-vaccine rhetoric. .

“Having stuff like that on the Joe Rogan podcast gives these people a platform and makes it a false balance. That’s what really bothers me,” she said. “These are fringe ideas that aren’t supported by science, and having them on a huge platform makes it feel like there are two sides to this problem. And there really isn’t. The overwhelming evidence is that the vaccine works and is safe.

Their letter included a fact-checking dossier of all dubious claims made during Rogan and Malone’s recent interview, such as the doctor’s assertion that President Biden is suppressing ivermectin research, which has not been recommended by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for COVID-19[FEMININE

Le co-auteur de la lettre, Ben Rein, neuroscientifique à l’Université de Stanford, a déclaré à Rolling Stone : “Les gens qui n’ont pas la formation scientifique ou médicale pour reconnaître ce qu’il dit ne sont pas vrais et sont incapables de distinguer les faits de la fiction vont croire Quel [Malone is] saying, and it’s the biggest podcast in the world. And it’s terrifying.

Rogan’s big move to Spotify has drawn considerable backlash, even from staff at the digital music company who wished they weren’t associated with the controversial podcaster over concerns similar to those expressed in the recent open letter.

“In the case of Joe Rogan, a total of 10 meetings were held with various groups and individuals to hear their respective concerns,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said during a meeting in September, Vice reported to the time. “And some of them want Rogan fired because of things he’s said in the past.”

The outcry grew so strong that Spotify would quietly unpublish several highly controversial episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience” from their platform, such as those featuring interviews with former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, the founder of Proud. Boys, Gavin McInnes, the conspiracy theorist and Sandy. Hook shot Holocaust denier Alex Jones and comedian Chris D’Elia, who was accused of “grooming” underage girls and soliciting pornographic images.

They also took aim at scientifically tenuous content, including Rogan’s interviews with Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey, the self-proclaimed “father of biohacking,” who touts pseudoscience in the pursuit of longevity of life, such as the “zapping” of the penis to treat erection. dysfunction or the bizarre “asshole tan” tendency.

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