The Joe Rogan Experience/Spotify

The internet is outraged that Joe Rogan let Alex Jones spread conspiracy theories on his show

Everyone's mad at Spotify, but almost no one's pointing a finger at YouTube.

Jan 27, 2021, 7:31 am*

Tech

 

Claire Goforth

Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been banned by all major platforms. Twitter, iTunes, YouTube, Apple, Facebook, PayPal, and Spotify have banished him and InfoWars to the obscure corners of the internet for espousing hate speech, disinformation, and anti-Semitism. They’ve even banned his lookalike channels, too.

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What’s a guy to do when he can’t find a mainstream platform to proclaim, falsely, that chemicals are being put in the water to make frogs homosexual or that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged?

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Why, have your pal Joe Rogan bring you on his show, of course.

On Tuesday, Jones was a featured guest on The Joe Rogan Experience. The internet is not amused. The lion’s share of criticisms were reserved for Spotify, while YouTube, where the episode is also available, essentially received a free pass.

For the episode’s three seemingly endless hours, Jones spewed nonsense about clean coal, “secret breeding programs for cloning,” blackmail rings, Hunter Biden, anti-vax conspiracy theories, and pedophilia.

To his partial credit, Rogan made some effort to check Jones, such as when the latter argued against the role of carbon dioxide in climate change, which he referred to as “the carbon conspiracy.”

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“Are you a climate change denier?” Rogan responded.

Jones persisted, babbling incoherent nonsense and refusing to acknowledge the role of carbon dioxide in altering the climate.

“This is why people get banned from the internet,” Rogan said.

The internet couldn’t agree more. While a few had harsh words for Rogan himself, the vast majority went after Spotify, which purchased Rogan’s podcast for $100 million earlier this year.

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https://twitter.com/EDantzer/status/1321196195163869190?s=20
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Spotify has yet to publicly comment, but in leaked emails obtained by BuzzFeed News, an executive appeared to defend Rogan having Jones on his show.

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“We are not going to ban specific individuals from being guests on other people’s shows, as the episode/show complies with our content policies,” the email read in a portion offering talking points for top management should media ask them about it.

Although the avalanche of criticisms were directed at Spotify, it bears mention that the episode is available on Rogan’s YouTube channel. Nevertheless, relatively few pointed the finger at YouTube.

Media Matters for America researcher Timothy Johnson was among the only people pointing out that by allowing the episode to remain on its platform, YouTube was also effectively legitimizing the man whose many nonsensical claims includes one about “weather weapons.”

“Alex Jones is banned from YouTube, but the platform still profits off him when he goes on Joe Rogan’s show,” Johnson tweeted.

“Alex Jones’ channel was terminated and he can no longer operate YouTube channels, but he is still allowed to appear in other videos as long as they comply with our Community Guidelines. We’ve reviewed his latest interview and it does not violate our policies,” Alex Joseph, a YouTube spokesperson, told the Daily Dot.

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The video has reportedly been demonetized, but it’s still driving plenty of traffic. As of this writing, the episode has more than 4 million views on YouTube.

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This post has been updated.

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*First Published: Oct 28, 2020, 1:39 pm