COVID-19 Misinformation: Science Podcaster Calls Spotify’s Support of Joe Rogan a ‘Slap in the Face’

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta February 2, 2022
Updated 2022/02/02 at 7:56 AM

The executive producer and host of Gimlet Media’s Science Vs podcast said she would dedicate her fact-checking program exclusively to contradicting misinformation in other podcasts aired by parent company Spotify.

Wendy Zukerman’s announcement builds on protests by Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and others against Spotify’s Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. They say Spotify is not doing enough to stop the spread of misinformation about COVID-19.

Zukerman posted a copy of an email she sent to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, in which she said she considered the platform’s support of Rogan a “slap in the face” after she spent months encouraging her listeners to switch to Spotify. the service because of your support. for your fact-based science podcast.

Spotify acquired Gimlet Media in 2019.

Zukerman wrote that Rogan’s interview with Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease expert who has become well-known among anti-vaccine Americans, took vaccine information “repeatedly out of context” and lacked scientific evidence that contradicted his claims. – a topic that will be published in the Science Vs. episode will cover.

She said Spotify’s platform rules don’t go far enough to resolve the issue.

“Until Spotify implements stronger methods to prevent the spread of disinformation on the platform, we will no longer make new episodes of Science Vs, except those intended to contradict the disinformation being spread on Spotify,” Zukerman wrote in an email to Spotify. Ek that she posted on Twitter.

Rogan’s interview with Malone sparked an outcry from rock star Neil Young, who said he didn’t want his music on a platform that promoted “false information about vaccines”.

He added: “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.” Folk music star Joni Mitchell removed her music to support Young.

Rogan apologized in an Instagram video post on Sunday and promised more balance in his show. Spotify said it would add a content disclaimer to any episode with a discussion of COVID.

Reuters was unable to immediately contact Gimlet or Spotify for comment. Zukerman’s post appeared on his verified Twitter account.

Spotify acquired Gimlet as part of an investment in its podcast business, an expansion of audio content that was underscored with its subsequent deal in 2020 to bring Rogan exclusively to the platform in a $100 million deal (approximately Rs. 750 crore).

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