Spotify’s Joe Rogan falsely claims that “actual microchips” are “being injected into your arm to see if you have COVID-19”

Rogan: “Spotify has never said a goddamn thing to me. They're amazing.”

On the May 14 edition of his Spotify podcast, Joe Rogan falsely claimed that far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was right “about actual microchips being injected into your arm to see if you have COVID-19.” Rogan repeatedly praised Jones, asserting that he is “right 80% of the time.”

Jones has spread the baseless conspiracy theory that COVID-19 vaccines funded by philanthropist Bill Gates contain trackable microchips. Versions of this conspiracy theory are widespread and are “pushed by individuals and groups whose amplification of falsehoods are adding to vaccine hesitancy.”

Rogan’s recent comments about microchips are similar to a misleading narrative that made the rounds last month when an April Facebook post and article from the Kremlin-backed propaganda outlet RT claimed that Pentagon scientists have “unveiled a microchip implant” which can detect viruses like Covid-19. 

USA Today rated this claim as “partly false,” stating:

The claim that a sensor developed by Pentagon scientists is a microchip with an antenna that can detect COVID-19 is PARTLY FALSE, based on our research. The sensor is not a microchip, as it's inert and doesn't have any metal that could relay personal information to other devices. And it was developed by a private company, though using federal funding. The chip also doesn't directly detect COVID-19, but it can relay information about changes in molecules that could indicate the presence of COVID-19 or other diseases.

Snopes also posted a fact check of the claim, writing, “The technology is not a microchip, nor was it developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, nor can it pinpoint what virus or bacteria has infected the body." RT’s Facebook post and article have since been updated to note that the technology is “a sensor and not a microchip.” 

Rogan is one of the most influential podcast hosts in the world. His show is broadcast exclusively on Spotify and is the most popular podcast on the platform. As the Washington Post has noted, “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, Rogan reaches nearly four times as many people as prime-time cable hosts such as Sean Hannity of Fox News Channel and Rachel Maddow of MSNBC.” 

He has frequently used his podcast to spread conspiracy theories, espouse COVID-19 misinformation, and attack trans people. On April 23, Rogan encouraged “healthy" young people not to get a COVID-19 vaccine, saying, “If you're like 21 years old, and you say to me, should I get vaccinated? I'll go no.” Notably, Spotify did not hold Rogan accountable for his dangerous rhetoric.

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Citation From the May 14, 2021, edition of Spotify's The Joe Rogan Experience 

JOE ROGAN (HOST): This is the fucking show. It's a skeleton crew. And there’s some people -- I have a manager, and then there’s some people that like argue with her, and I don’t pay attention. I go, we all right? Are we good? I’m not listening. So I'm never involved in meetings. I don’t have any conversations with advertisers. I have no conversations with suits. Spotify has never said a goddamn thing to me. They're amazing. 

ANTHONY CUMIA (GUEST): Isn’t that great?

ROGAN: They’re fucking great. They don’t say shit. And I tested it too, like when I brought Alex Jones on.


ROGAN: I was like let’s see. Let’s see. You guys talk a lot of shit. Let’s see. 


CUMIA: I love that guy

ROGAN: That fucking guy is right way more than he’s wrong. 

CUMIA: Oh my God, yes. 

ROGAN: Way more. Especially now when people were talking about actual microchips being injected into your arm to see if you have COVID-19. He was like, I fucking told you, Joe Rogan. 

CUMIA: It sounded preposterous years ago when he was saying a lot of this stuff. But as it all starts coming to fruition, you’re like, wait, Alex Jones had it. He was the guy that was saying all this. But then other people have said he's thrown so much shit against the wall, something’s got to stick. 

ROGAN: That's true too. That’s true too, but I think it’s like, honestly he's right 80% of the time. 


ROGAN: Tell you what, though. They have removed him from all social media and all that stuff, but he's still, he’s doing great. 

CUMIA: Oh my God. 

ROGAN: His subscribers are very high. And his studio is two miles from here. I've done his show. We got hammered and high.