Will Spotify ban Joe Rogan? Hundreds of doctors sign letter after Dr Robert Malone podcast

A total of 270 medical professionals urged Spotify to implement new changes after Rogan hosted the controversial Dr Robert Malone on his podcast


                            Will Spotify ban Joe Rogan? Hundreds of doctors sign letter after Dr Robert Malone podcast
Joe Rogan (L) hosted Dr Robert Malone (R) on episode #1757 of his podcast last month (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images, The Joe Rogan Experience)

An open letter signed by hundreds of doctors, scientists, and medical students has called on Spotify to implement a strict misinformation policy after accusing comedian Joe Rogan of promoting vaccine "misinformation" on his podcast.

A total of 270 medical professionals and students urged the streaming service to make amends after Rogan hosted the controversial Dr Robert Malone on episode #1757 of The Joe Rogan Experience last month. The veteran scientist, who was a part of the team that invented the mRNA technology used in the Covid-19 jab, said pharmaceutical companies administering vaccines had "financial conflicts of interest." He also compared the status quo in the US to Nazi Germany and alleged that society was suffering a "mass formation psychosis" over the use of vaccines.

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The episode did not sit well with hundreds of medical professionals, who demanded accountability from Spotify, which signed a $100 million deal with Rogan for exclusive streaming rights to his podcast last year. "With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world's largest podcast and has tremendous influence," they wrote in the open letter. "Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy."

The letter claimed Rogan had a penchant for "broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic," and that Malone, during his appearance on the podcast, promoted "baseless conspiracy theories" including "an unfounded theory that societal leaders have 'hypnotized the public.'" The letter added, "Dr Malone is one of two recent JRE guests who has compared pandemic policies to the Holocaust. These actions are not only objectionable and offensive but also medically and culturally dangerous."



 

Malone explained the apparent mass psychosis phenomenon in the episode posted on New Year's Eve. "It was from, basically, European intellectual inquiry into what the heck happened in Germany in the 20s and 30s. Very intelligent, highly educated population, and they went barking mad," he said. "And how did that happen? The answer is mass formation psychosis. When you have a society that has become decoupled from each other and has free-floating anxiety, in a sense that things don't make sense. We can't understand it. And then their attention gets focused by a leader or series of events on one small point, just like hypnosis. They literally become hypnotized and can be led anywhere."

Video streaming giant YouTube took the episode down from its platform shortly after it went live. Meanwhile, Malone's Twitter account was suspended just hours before appearing on the show for "violating" its community guidelines. The episode was still available on Spotify at the time of publication.



 

One of the signees, Dr Katrine Wallace, described Rogan as a "menace to public health" and complained that people like Malone shouldn't be given a platform. Speaking to Rolling Stone, she said his claims were "fringe ideas not backed in science." She added, "Having it on a huge platform makes it seem there are two sides to this issue. And there are really not. The overwhelming evidence is the vaccine works, and it is safe." Meanwhile, Dr Ben Rein, a neuroscientist at Stanford University, added, "People who don’t have the scientific or medical background to recognize the things he’s saying are not true and are unable to distinguish fact from fiction are going to believe what [Malone is] saying, and this is the biggest podcast in the world. And that’s terrifying."

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