A coalition of 270 doctors, professors, scientists, health care professionals and science communicators have complained to Spotify Technologies S.A. (NASDAQ: SPOT) over what they perceived as medical misinformation being spread on “The Joe Rogan Experience,” the podcast network’s most popular program.
What Happened: The coalition published an open letter stating Rogan has “repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine.”
The coalition — which said its expertise spans microbiology, immunology, epidemiology and neuroscience — demanded that Spotify “take action against the mass-misinformation events which continue to occur on its platform.”
The letter singled out the Dec. 31 episode of Rogan’s show that featured Dr. Robert Malone as a guest, stating the “episode has been criticized for promoting baseless conspiracy theories.”
The coalition pointed out that Malone was banned from Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) for his anti-vaccine tweets and complained that his comparison of federal pandemic policies to the Holocaust “are not only objectionable and offensive, but also medically and culturally dangerous.”
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Why It Matters: “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence,” the letter said. “Though Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
The coalition did not specifically seek Rogan’s removal from the Spotify platform but warned that Rogan’s contents are having a deleterious impact on COVID education.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Last fall, Spotify employees expressed discontent over episodes of Rogan’s shows that included conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Abigail Shrier, an author who has courted controversy over transgender issues.
CEO Daniel Ek defended Jones in an interview, stating Spotify wants “creators to create — it’s what they do best. We’re not looking to play a role in what they should say.”
Photo: Screenshot of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast.
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