Almost 300 scientists and medical professionals are calling for Spotify to take action against COVID-19 misinformation spread on podcasts such as The Joe Rogan Experience.
A new open letter to Spotify signed by 270 experts including medical professionals and scientists accused Joe Rogan, who hosts the platform's most popular podcast, of having a "concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic." The letter urges Spotify to take action via a clear misinformation policy.
"By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals," the open letter said.
The experts listed a number of "misleading and false claims" spread by Rogan on his podcast, including when he suggested healthy young people don't need to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and when he promoted ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment against FDA recommendations. When Rogan said on his podcast last year that healthy young people need not get vaccinated, The Verge reported that Spotify "reviewed this Rogan episode and left it live because he doesn't come off as outwardly anti-vaccine."
Spotify has said that it "prohibits content on the platform which promotes dangerous false, deceptive, or misleading content about COVID-19," though Variety notes this policy doesn't appear to be enforced consistently. According to The New York Times, Spotify chief content officer Dawn Ostroff said last year the company was making "very aggressive moves" toward investing further in content moderation.