Media literacy is clearly not Joe Rogan’s strong suit. The podcast host recently took to Instagram to share a fake CNN report stating that actor Steven Seagal has joined Russian special forces stationed near Kyiv, Ukraine, noting the absurdity of “this fucked up movie we’re living through.”
But what’s actually more absurd than whatever simulation timeline Rogan thinks we exist in is his inability to discern that the screenshot he shared to his 14.7 million followers isn’t real. The attached photo of Seagal decked out in army gear that could have been purchased at a Dick’s Sporting Goods comes from a 2017 film called Cartels.
In just a few hours, the post has amassed over 400,000 likes and 11,000 comments. Unfortunately, attempts to call out misinformation are few and far between amongst the sea of users playing into Rogan’s mindset. The simple thing to do would be to cross-reference the post with CNN’s own content, or any reputable news source, to discern fact from fiction. But maybe that’s asking for too much.
Instagram has yet to flag the post as misinformation as it periodically does for misleading uploads to both the newsfeed and stories on the platform. Rogan was recently brought under fire for spreading Covid-19 misinformation on his Spotify-hosted podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, which boasts an audience of 11 million listeners.