Simmering tensions over Covid vaccines are boiling over in online communities.
Joe Rogan’s fans are responding to criticism of the podcast host’s fringe medical stances with fatphobic and antisemitic remarks, which have only intensified after YouTube personality Ethan Klein criticized him for spreading Covid vaccine misinformation.
The dispute between Rogan, who has been embraced by conservative figures for questioning Covid vaccine safety, and Klein, whose fanbase is largely progressive, highlights how growing agitation over the pandemic in online circles is quickly turning into all-out internet warfare.
Known for his contrarian and often unfounded opinions on medicine, Rogan has pushed vaccine hesitancy on his show “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which reaches an estimated 11 million listeners per episode. The widely criticized talk show was the most popular podcast on Spotify in 2021.
YouTube took down a recent episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” on Monday for violating the platform’s community guidelines, which forbids misinformation related to elections, Covid-19 and vaccines. The episode is still available on Spotify, which struck a multiyear deal to license the show in 2020.
Rogan’s audience is now lashing out online, claiming unfair censorship.