More than 270 medical experts call out Spotify, Joe Rogan for spreading COVID-19 misinformation

Eric

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Something needs to happen here.

From Twitter
In an open letter published on January 10, more than 270 medical experts called on Spotify to take action against the spread of misinformation on its platform — specifically in relation to the podcast The Joe Rogan Experience — according to The Washington Post. Rogan, who has been on the line for spreading false information related to COVID-19 in the past, has an exclusive deal with Spotify to publish his podcast, which has an audience of more than 11 million, per Rolling Stone. Experts are not calling for the removal of Rogan's podcast in the letter but, instead, ask the streaming service to "immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform."

https://www.twitter.com/i/web/status/1482012689752862725/
 

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A follow up opinion piece

Wildly popular podcaster Joe Rogan is just asking questions. The wrong questions, and an awful lot of them—especially when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. He’s discouraged young people from getting vaccinated, promoted theories that unsupported covid treatment ivermectin isn’t in broader use to protect vaccine profits, and invited well-known bullshit artists to uncritically spew misinformation about vaccines.

As Rogan has hundreds of millions of monthly downloads on the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE), that makes him one of the biggest vehicles for rhetoric that is at the very least sympathetic to, and sometimes actively promoting, the antivaxx movement. And his distributor, Spotify, is obviously willing to look the other way to protect their exclusive $100 million deal with him, even if that means letting him promote wild conspiracy theories—like he did last month. On episode #1757 of JRE, Rogan invited a virologist named Dr. Robert Malone to inform listeners that public health responses to the coronavirus, particularly mass vaccination, were inextricably tied in with something called “mass formation psychosis.”

Malone’s credibility is largely based on his claim to have invented MRNA vaccines. Whether that’s true or not—the Atlantic reported he is one of many scientists who published important work on MRNA—more recently his credentials seem to have served the more practical purpose of buoying his darling status in right-wing media and the anti-vaxx movement. Malone claims not to be a vaccine skeptic, but questions the safety and efficacy of the actual MRNA vaccines on the market. Many of his claims have been rated as false by fact-checkers and many other scientists have more or less suggested he’s gone off the rails. Mass formation psychosis, in Malone’s telling, is exactly like what happened in Germany before the rise of the Nazi Party’s Third Reich, during which the public “literally becomes hypnotized and can be led anywhere.” Malone went on to tell Rogan that this is why members of the public trust and are complying with supposedly extreme, totalitarian overreactions like social pressure to get vaccinated.

In reality, mass formation psychosis is not a legitimate scientific idea and, according to specialists in fields like crowd and social psychology, has no credibility. (According to the AP, University of Sussex social psychologist John Drury and Binghamton University psychology professor Steven Jay Lynn described the theory as based on discredited concepts around mob mentality and the power of hypnosis.) But it is convenient culture-war gristle for right-wingers and anti-vaxxers furious at public health measures who want to rebrand just being wrong as enviable possession of forbidden knowledge and label anyone who disagrees as mentally ill sheeple. That’s the main reason the Malone episode went viral.

This was too much for YouTube, which took a clip of the Malone interview down under its covid-19 misinformation policy. For its part, Spotify has done jack shit. Rolling Stone reported on Wednesday that some 270 scientists, medical professionals, and science educators, led by Boston’s Children’s Hospital infectious disease epidemiologist Jessica Malaty Rivera, have signed an open letter to Spotify denouncing Rogan for featuring Malone and spreading other hoax claims about covid and vaccines. They’re not demanding that Spotify drop Rogan or delete the episode, but simply create a defined policy on misinformation. From the letter:


Spotify does not currently appear to have a solid misinformation policy in its rules—unlike many other major platforms, which at least have ones on paper, even if they’re poorly enforced. The ask to introduce such a policy and hold Rogan to it in the future is a clever one, if only because Spotify reportedly neglected to port over 42 JRE episodes when it signed a deal with Rogan in 2020. According to Variety, those editions contained interviews with vile far-right figures like racist provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, founder of the fashy street-fighting Proud Boys group Gavin McInnes, infamous troll and accused Holocaust denier Charles C. Johnson, anti-feminist Carl “Sargon of Akkad” Benjamin, and Owen Benjamin, a comedian mostly known for vicious anti-Semitism. The decision to throw those episodes down the memory hole doesn’t seem to have set any precedent moving forward.

Rogan later said that not porting the episodes, which was the subject of considerable anger from his fans, was part of the $100 million contract deal: “There were a few episodes they didn’t want on their platform, and I was like ‘okay, I don’t care.’” But he insisted that there wouldn’t be any corporate interference from that point on: “A lot of people are like, ‘they’re telling Joe Rogan what he can and can’t do’. They’re not — they’re not.”

Again, Rogan is estimated to have 11 million listeners per episode. To put that in perspective, Tucker Carlson is the king of primetime cable news with around 3 million viewers per episode. It’s safe to say Spotify doing anything about the Malone episode would risk pissing off one of their biggest cash-cow investments. Spotify probably also doesn’t want to chance angering a horde of fans that use their platform many times a week, let alone the inevitable firestorm from conservatives eager to make him their latest poster boy for censorship.

As it is, Spotify sporadically told media outlets last year that it removes antivax content because it prohibits “content on the platform which promotes dangerous false, deceptive, or misleading content about Covid-19 that may cause offline harm and/or pose a direct threat to public health.” So clearly some kind of policy exists, at least to the extent that they can trot it out on an arbitrary basis. Spotify just isn’t clear about the specifics of that rule or how they enforce it. The only thing that’s clear is Rogan is apparently immune to it.

Spotify didn’t respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment. Nor did it respond to CNBC, the Hill, the Washington Post, Deadline, Fortune, or the New York Daily News, among other publications. Why would they? They don’t give a shit. Go ahead and prove us wrong.
 

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I don't think Neil Young is going to care either. He didn't exactly rush to be on Spotify when so many others did, as he wasn't the biggest fan. So his music being removed is probably going to be something he has to be reminded happened, as he won't give a flip.

https://www.twitter.com/i/web/status/1485995182000689156/
Most artists have no power to remove their music from Spotify. They signed contracts that gave all the power to the labels. Neil Young is one of the few with a voice in this situation, so good on him for doing something.
 
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Spotify is sticking with him and it's the main reason why I won't get their service in my new car. Hopefully we'll see more come out and take a stand like this.
Also because spotify's sound quality is so bad I can hear the compression from a mile away. It's not even mediocre, it's just bad, that even their superior playlist AI cannot compensate for.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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I don't think Neil Young is going to care either. He didn't exactly rush to be on Spotify when so many others did, as he wasn't the biggest fan. So his music being removed is probably going to be something he has to be reminded happened, as he won't give a flip.

https://www.twitter.com/i/web/status/1485995182000689156/

Niel Young is comparatively irrelevant on Spotify compared to Joe Rogan.

And I'm no fan of Rogan and his Covid misinformation, but I'm also more than a bit concerned when people are toeing the line that the major pharmaceutical industry. I wasn't always skeptical on this but when you learn more and time goes on your views should also evolve.
 
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U

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Fauci has always been a mouthpiece for the pharmaceutical industry well before covid. I wasn't always skeptical on this but when you learn more and time goes on your views should also evolve.
Wow. That's a sort of statement that you'd better be ready to back up otherwise you should rescind.
As exNIH, I can tell you that the NIH comes as close as possible to independence from industry in biomedical research...
So please stop spreading this bullshit narrative by people who are actual mouthpieces of many industries.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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Wow. That's a sort of statement that you'd better be ready to back up otherwise you should rescind.
As exNIH, I can tell you that the NIH comes as close as possible to independence from industry in biomedical research...
So please stop spreading this bullshit narrative by people who are actual mouthpieces of many industries.

That part rescinded. I'm not prepared to back it up. It's a veiw I've heard on multiple progressive podcasts. I don't listen to Joe Rogan. I did, but stopped listening to him long before Covid for his tendency to parrot Fox News talking points unquestioned or critical.

These views I heard on him were from people who said that they had worked with him in the past and that the media is giving him outsized credit for what he actually does and via that so does the general public. It sounds kind of like a wartime President positioning themself as a military genius even though they've never served. Maybe that was said out of career jealousy. I dunno.

Do you have any issues with Fauci?
 

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That part rescinded. I'm not prepared to back it up. It's a veiw I've heard on multiple progressive podcasts. I don't listen to Joe Rogan. I did, but stopped listening to him long before Covid for his tendency to parrot Fox News talking points unquestioned or critical.

These views I heard on him were from people who said that they had worked with him in the past and that the media is giving him outsized credit for what he actually does and via that so does the general public. It sounds kind of like a wartime President positioning themself as a military genius even though they've never served. Maybe that was said out of career jealousy. I dunno.

Do you have any issues with Fauci?
None. The only issue I have is that his advice is bastardized by the right and those who aren't qualified to make any real medical decisions. If you want to take up issue with the pharmaceutical industry I think that's fair play, but to beat down Fauci for recommending proper measures and medications is disingenuous.

The biggest takeaway with people like Rogan, Fox News, etc., is they question experts in their fields for a political point, or because they don't want to get vaccinated. If 99.9% of doctors said you were going to die in 3 months from cancer unless you get treatment, you're going to get treated by said experts.

This post has a very pro-Rogan vibe to it, he has the ear of a lot of people out there and it's a shame. He's an idiot meatball of a comedian who promoted horse dewormers and snake oil to his ignorant masses. IMO he should be pulled off the air and prosecuted for negligent homicide.
 
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That part rescinded. I'm not prepared to back it up. It's a veiw I've heard on multiple progressive podcasts. I don't listen to Joe Rogan. I did, but stopped listening to him long before Covid for his tendency to parrot Fox News talking points unquestioned or critical.

These views I heard on him were from people who said that they had worked with him in the past and that the media is giving him outsized credit for what he actually does and via that so does the general public. It sounds kind of like a wartime President positioning themself as a military genius even though they've never served. Maybe that was said out of career jealousy. I dunno.

Do you have any issues with Fauci?
The reason I get extremely pissed about this is shit is parroted by people with clear financial conflict of interest, by virtue of Fauci-hate producing views/clicks. NIH employees can't accept pharma dinners, gifts, I even had to give up on $100 range proceedings from book chapters I've written after weeks of back and fourth with ethics. When you read a paper, you'll read the conflict of interest disclosure statements of scientists, and guess who can't have those. The ones at NIH. And about these statements, there was recently this guy at at very famous cancer institution who was sacked after it turned out he forgot to disclose a few millions. So yeah, you can end one's career just reporting undisclosed COI. NIH is not a perfect place, but calling it corrupt is despicable when their anticorruption policies are many many layers stricter than any other institution I know.

Which takes us to Fauci. At his level, people will make a lot of enemies and being 30+ years there this guy's an expert navigating these, i.e. a politician. Fauci never practicing?! The guy is the co-editor of the standard internal medicine textbook of the west (Harrison's). I think people are just unaware how insanely productive Fauci is even if the productivity at the level above rookie comes from collaborations and help from junior people.
9781259644030.jpg


Fallibility is a different topic, and his is definitely not infallible. Being tasked to provide opinions when there is no data means you are exposed to situations where you'll be inherently wrong and people are clueless about this. His early recommendations people giving him heat about were supported by the scientific data available, the stuff that I was following extremely closely then. I'll add that if it wasn't the very streamlined work at Fauci's institution identifying a target for a vaccine, we wouldn't have the best COVID vaccine that exists in the world at the present, the Moderna vaccine. So people should really give some credit to this guy rather than threatening him and his family with murder.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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This post contains false information
He's an idiot meatball of a comedian who promoted horse dewormers

No he didn't and even CNN's expert medical reporter admitted under pressure that, that was a lie on their part.

But in the spirit of this topic, and if we are going to be completely honest, it's about the danger of spreading general information that can easily, and most likely, be mistranslated into something that is completely wrong. I agree that is a major issue that should be avoided. If there's a good chance that people are going to go the wrong route with limited detailed knowledge then don't put it out there.

My only question is, there are probably all kinds of medications that have human versions and veterinary versions. Which side was pushing the veterinary version on this one? Was it the right out of lazy ignorance or the left trying to make them look like idiots? I'm not saying I have the answer.

...but I know that probably isn't the point of this thread and there may not be room for this kind of conversation here.
 

Eric

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No he didn't and even CNN's expert medical reporter admitted under pressure that, that was a lie on their part.
This post has a very pro-Rogan vibe to it.

Thank you for making my point, he was all over the internet promoting every alternative under the sun. Yet you want to nitpick over a disagreement in the weeds touted by right wingers. He has your ear, that much is clear, what I don't get is why you simply don't admit it, is it just not Fox News/right wing friendly enough for you here?
 
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If there's a good chance that people are going to go the wrong route with limited detailed knowledge then don't put it out there.
Sorry, but this is some stupid shit circulated by dumb fucks. If we don't have PPE and you are tasked to orient demand where it is the most justified, i.e. preventing gen pop from syphoning away PPE from hospitals then maybe you need to say something about it. Just because a fucking lie is repeated 1202349348938 times it's still a dumb fucking lie and I'm really losing my patience about this shit.

My only question is, there are probably all kinds of medications that have human versions and veterinary versions. Which side was pushing the veterinary version on this one? Was it the right out of lazy ignorance or the left trying to make them look like idiots? I'm not saying I have the answer.

...but I know that probably isn't the point of this thread and there may not be room for this kind of conversation here.
People were literally buying up the veterinary formulations of a drug flaunted as the alternative of vaccinations but even the very low quality supportive evidence put it in the range of like 20x lower efficacy than prevention by vaccination.

Can we stop regurgitating stupid shit?
 

Eric

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Sorry, but this is some stupid shit circulated by dumb fucks. If we don't have PPE and you are tasked to orient demand where it is the most justified, i.e. preventing gen pop from syphoning away PPE from hospitals then maybe you need to say something about it. Just because a fucking lie is repeated 1202349348938 times it's still a dumb fucking lie and I'm really losing my patience about this shit.


People were literally buying up the veterinary formulations of a drug flaunted as the alternative of vaccinations but even the very low quality supportive evidence put it in the range of like 20x lower efficacy than prevention by vaccination.

Can we stop regurgitating stupid shit?
Some of these people can't be reasoned with, as is the case here.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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The reason I get extremely pissed about this is shit is parroted by people with clear financial conflict of interest, by virtue of Fauci-hate producing views/clicks. NIH employees can't accept pharma dinners, gifts, I even had to give up on $100 range proceedings from book chapters I've written after weeks of back and fourth with ethics. When you read a paper, you'll read the conflict of interest disclosure statements of scientists, and guess who can't have those. The ones at NIH. And about these statements, there was recently this guy at at very famous cancer institution who was sacked after it turned out he forgot to disclose a few millions. So yeah, you can end one's career just reporting undisclosed COI. NIH is not a perfect place, but calling it corrupt is despicable when their anticorruption policies are many many layers stricter than any other institution I know.

Which takes us to Fauci. At his level, people will make a lot of enemies and being 30+ years there this guy's an expert navigating these, i.e. a politician. Fauci never practicing?! The guy is the co-editor of the standard internal medicine textbook of the west (Harrison's). I think people are just unaware how insanely productive Fauci is even if the productivity at the level above rookie comes from collaborations and help from junior people.
9781259644030.jpg


Fallibility is a different topic, and his is definitely not infallible. Being tasked to provide opinions when there is no data means you are exposed to situations where you'll be inherently wrong and people are clueless about this. His early recommendations people giving him heat about were supported by the scientific data available, the stuff that I was following extremely closely then. I'll add that if it wasn't the very streamlined work at Fauci's institution identifying a target for a vaccine, we wouldn't have the best COVID vaccine that exists in the world at the present, the Moderna vaccine. So people should really give some credit to this guy rather than threatening him and his family with murder.

Thanks for sharing that information and your experience. I don’t question any of it. I just take issue with a belief in or need for absolutes, one side is 100% right and the other is 100% wrong, not willing to even entertain the possibility that even 1% of the opposing view is a valid point. I’m sure me even just saying that now probably pisses some people off based on this specific topic and like I said in a previous post, there may not be room for that type of discussion in this thread. Which is fine.
 
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