Multiple sources inside Spotify described an all-hands meeting in which Spotify CEO Daniel Ek discussed the company’s handling of the controversial podcaster.
By Joseph Cox
By Emanuel Maiberg
September 16, 2020, 11:15am
In a Spotify all-hands company meeting on Wednesday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek defended keeping transphobic content from hugely popular podcaster Joe Rogan on the audio platform, who earlier this year signed an exclusive licensing deal with the company likely worth tens of millions of dollars. …
One of the submitted questions was “Many LGBTQAI+/ally Spotifiers feel unwelcome and alienated because of leadership’s response in JRE conversations. What is your message to those employees?” Another was “Why has Spotify chosen to ignore Spectrum ERG’s guidance about transphobic content in the JRE catalog?,” referring to a group of Spotify workers who focus on related issues. …
The specific episode of the Joe Rogan Experience Ek was referring to was from July, in which Rogan interviewed Abigail Shrier, author of the book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, according to one of the sources. From the opening moments of that podcast, Shrier associates transgender youth with those with autism; Shrier and Rogan spend parts of the episode explaining that young people are being pressured into transitioning by YouTube and other media.
“You realize that people are not looking at this objectively,” Rogan said in the podcast. “They are activists and they have this agenda, and the agenda is very ideologically driven that anybody who even thinks they might be trans should be trans, are trans, and the more trans people the better.”
In the book, Shrier invalidates the lived experience of trans people by comparing transitioning to adolescent phenomena like eating disorders, self-harm, or the occult, according to Men’s Health. She also described wanting to transition as a “contagion” with the potential to infect other children, an entirely scientifically baseless idea, Men’s Health noted.
… At the time of writing, the Shrier episode is on Spotify. The company has made content moderation decisions to not port several other older JRE episodes to the platform, however. Episodes #911 and #1255, both of which feature Alex Jones, are not hosted on Spotify. In 2018, Spotify removed Alex Jones’ own podcast from its platform for “hate content.” Spotify is also not hosting episodes in which Rogan interviewed far-right personalities Gavin McInnes and Chuck Johnson.
The Spotify catalog does include episodes featuring Stefan Molyneux, who the Southern Poverty Law Center says amplifies “scientific racism,” and who was banned from YouTube earlier this year for hate speech.
In another recent episode, Rogan explained a joke he made in 2016 about Caitlyn Jenner’s transition, describing Jenner as “he” and using her deadname “Bruce.” Rogan also mischaracterized the reason for Jenner’s transition, saying it may have been because she was around her daughters Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner, that he describes as “crazy bitches.”
Here’s a good thread from Shrier:
Joe Rogan had me on his show. Spotify has now held 10 meetings w employees to debate whether to pull the episode–about a *book* that presents the mainstream idea that all this gender transition for teens is too much, too fast with too little oversight. https://t.co/KPa78O1xAt /4
— Abigail Shrier (@AbigailShrier) October 29, 2020
The transgender lobby’s power to shut down criticism is truly remarkable.
Interestingly, the transgender lobby teamed up in 2003-2005 with the Southern Poverty Law Center to try to use similar tactics to destroy anybody who gave a positive review to Northwest U. psychologist J. Michael Bailey’s book The Man Who Would Be Queen. But, while ruthless, high IQ people like Professors McCloskey and Conway could make themselves into pests, they and Morris Dees were too far ahead of their time with their cancel crusade to totally succeed: it remained a fringe brouhaha.
So what changed over the next decade to make it that in 2020 you have to be as rich and popular as Joe Rogan or J.K. Rowling to have a fighting chance against the T Lobby?
Do you ever get the impression that historians aren’t providing much analysis of the 21st Century, that they are just too scared to explore recent events?
Update: Media trying to cover for Biden’s transgender gaffe:
From the New York Times news section:
By Cade Metz
Last week, a political action committee called the American Principles Project unveiled a new video on Twitter falsely claiming that Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden Jr. supported sex changes for 8-year-olds.
Since Friday, a similar video has also appeared on Facebook as many as 100,000 times — primarily in Michigan, a swing state in the Nov. 3 election.
What has been harder to pinpoint is how widely the video has been spreading through text messages.
Though companies like Facebook and Twitter have developed tools for tracking and policing disinformation on their social networks, texting activity is largely a free-for-all that receives little scrutiny from tech companies and government regulators.
“There is no way to audit this,” said Jacob Gursky, a research associate at the University of Texas at Austin. “Organizations are just collecting cellphone numbers from data brokers and mass-texting people.”
The video circulated in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania as part of a coordinated texting campaign, according to a study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. Over the weekend, it reached a reporter who covers online disinformation for the news site Protocol. The reporter had a Pennsylvania cellphone number.
Twisting the meaning of Mr. Biden’s statements during a recent “town hall” event — which condemned discrimination against children who identify as transgender but did not address sex changes — the campaign was a high-profile example of increasingly widespread efforts to distribute disinformation through text messages.
The NYT didn’t have the courage to quote Biden in full, who said:
HAECK: I’m good, thank you. I’m the proud mom of two girls, 8 and 10. My youngest daughter is transgender. The Trump administration has attacked the rights of transgender people, banning them from military service, weakening non discrimination protections and even removing the word transgender from some government websites.
How will you as president reverse this dangerous and discriminatory agenda and insure that the lives and rights of LGBTQ people are protected under U.S. law?
BIDEN: I will flat out just change the law. Every — eliminate those executive orders, number one. You may recall I’m the guy who said — I was raised by a man who I remember I was being dropped off, my — my dad was a high school educated, well read man who was a really decent guy.
And I was being dropped off to get an application in the center of our city; Wilmington, Delaware, the corporate capital of the world at the time. And these two men, I’m getting out to get an application to be a lifeguard in the African American community because there was a big swimming pool complex.
And these two men, well dressed, leaned up and hugged one another and kissed one another. And I’m getting out of the car at the light and I turn to my dad. My dad looked at me and said Joey, it’s simple. They love each other.
The idea that an 8-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides, you know I decided I want to be transgender. That’s what I think I’d like to be. It would make my life a lot easier. There should be zero discrimination.
And what’s happening is too many transgender women of color are being murdered. They’re being murdered. And I think it’s up now to 17, don’t hold me to that number. But it’s — it’s higher now?
BIDEN: And that’s just this year. And so I promise you there is no reason to suggest that there should be any right denied your daughter or daughters, whichever one or two …
BIDEN: … one, your daughter — that your other daughter has a right to be and do. None, zero. And by the way, my son Bo, passed away; he was the attorney general in the state of Delaware. He was the guy who got the first transgender passed in the state of Delaware and because of a young man who became a woman who worked for him in the attorney general offices.
Back to the NYT;
“During a recent town hall, Joe Biden endorsed giving 8- to 10-year-olds sex change treatments,” the texts read. “This is way too extreme for me. I can’t support him.”
The texts tracked by Mr. Gursky and his fellow researchers said they were sent by the American Principles Project, but they referred to the organization only as “the APP PAC.” The texts purport to arrive from a “Democratic volunteer.”
Cade Metz is a technology correspondent, covering artificial intelligence, driverless cars, robotics, virtual reality, and other emerging areas. He previously wrote for Wired magazine. @cademetz
Cade Metz was in charge of doxxing Scott Alexander.