On Tuesday, rock artist Neil Young asked to remove his music from Spotify, a streaming service.
In a statement, Young took issue with Spotify for hosting The Joe Rogan Experience, a podcast with a record of controversial claims about the pandemic.
Young ultimately withdrew his music on Wednesday as an act of protest, risking a financial hit in the process… but the Biden administration wants Spotify to go one step further.
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Vivek Murthy, Biden’s surgeon general, discussed Young on MSNCB’s Morning Joe this Wednesday.
“Now, when it comes to how we root out the misinformation in society right now and give people access to accurate information, we’ve got to do several things,” Murthy began.
“Number one, we’ve got to recognize that our technology platforms, particularly social media, these have an important role to play. These are the predominant places where we’re seeing misinformation spread. These platforms have still not stepped up to do the right thing and do enough, I should say, to reduce the spread of misinformation. But each of us also has a role to play here, because we all have platforms.”
Murthy continued, in the context of The Joe Rogan Experience, “If you’re somebody who has a large following — whether you’re an entertainer, a politician, in the media — it’s your responsibility, all of our responsibilities, to make sure we’re thoughtful in what we are sharing.”
In April, Rogan questioned young, healthy people’s decision to take the COVID-19 vaccine. He faced bipartisan criticism for ignoring well-documented cases of young, healthy people spreading the virus. He later walked back his statement.
Murthy singled out misinformation as one of the two greatest obstacles to implementing the virus treatments during another MSNBC appearance this month.
“This is not just about entertainment. It’s not just about garnering clicks,” Murthy said Wednesday.
“This is about people’s lives.”
Murthy spoke vaguely the entire time. He only encouraged platforms like Spotify to “reduce the spread of misinformation.” He could have been calling on Spotify to censor the podcast, or he could have been calling on Spotify to discipline Joe Rogan, the podcast host.
Of course, some platforms condemn “misinformation” that later turns out to be a real possibility.
Twitter suspended the New York Post for tweeting about Hunter Biden’s laptop, and the company cited Russian disinformation as the reason. Later, a U.S. intelligence report found some evidence of Russian disinformation on Twitter, but it couldn’t disprove the laptop story.
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Plus, The Washington Post dismissed the lab-leak theory as “debunked” in February 2020. At the time, the scientific community generally acknowledged the theory as possible, although unlikely. Then, 15 months later, the Post edited a headline to reflect the journalist community’s growing acceptance of this theory.
Democrats can’t decide whether to sloganeer about the evils of Big Business or whether to trust large corporations as gatekeepers.
Watch the video here —
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy says social media platforms "have still not stepped up" in tackling misinformation:
"People have the right to make their own decisions, but they also have the right to have accurate information to make that decision with." pic.twitter.com/iIck1L9uJJ
— The Recount (@therecount) January 26, 2022
Democracy dies in stealth edits on 15-month-old headlines pic.twitter.com/FW6DoiqXSz
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 1, 2021
The Horn editorial team