Platform Power Struggles: Joe Rogan, Dan Bongino, Banned Books Fueling Debate

Every day, there is another tug-of-war over who gets heard, where and how, another power struggle for platform. “The front lines of truth and falsehood don’t just cut through politics,” CNN Opinion managing editor Rich Galant Written on Sunday, “they’re dividing people in media, music and sports.”

Depending on your political affiliation and partisan media preferences, you might be more interested in “Maus” being removed from the Tennessee school district or more about Dan Bongino being banned from YouTube. You can support Spotify to keep Joe Rogan in place, or you can side with the artists who have boycotted the service. Or you might not care much, and I’ll deal with that in a minute. But first, some updates on all the “content wars” of the past few days:

Assess the hasty nature of Sunday afternoon by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek statement, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren aren’t the only artists complaining about the platform’s stance on Covid-19 BS Or maybe Ek is trying to discourage other producers from following the lead by Brené Brown and pause Her Spotify exclusive podcast. Or maybe he’s trying to stem the tide of customer cancellations. Maybe it’s all of the above.
Ek’s announcement made no mention of Rogan at all. But it said Spotify is “adding a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes discussion of Covid-19,” CNN’s Ramishah Maruf said. Written. “Advice that will direct listeners to a Covid-19 hub will include links to trusted sources, the company said. Spotify will also make its long-standing Platform Rules public for the first time. ” (Those are very lax rules that Ashley Carman of The Verge obtained and announced on Friday.) So, in short, Spotify is doing what platforms like Twitter did at the start of the pandemic. . Recode’s Peter Kafka summarize it in three words: “Nothing is changed.”
But it has the appearance of change. So will it be enough? We shall see. Ek definitely showed up as an executive in damage control mode. He said the Covid center “will be rolling out to countries around the world in the coming days”, so in other words, it hasn’t even been translated into many languages ​​yet. The same is true of ground rules. Spotify seems to be doing this in a hurry. The Verge EIC Nilay Patel tweeted that the company was running a content moderation “playbook” as an impossible challenge “instead of the playbook “we purchased and distributed this media asset”.” His view: Spotify is “spending $100 million to exclusively distribute” Rogan’s show and promote it on the platform, but is portraying itself as more like Facebook than a distributor…

Six Spotify Notes

– Kara Swisher tweeted: Tech executives like Ek “want to have all the power and money and not have any responsibility when things go awry, because things always happen…”
– Kat Rosenfield said on “Reliable Sources” that Rogan is “like a weed that grows outside the mainstream media ecosystem.” If Spotify removes him tomorrow, “it won’t affect his audience,” she argued. “People will still listen to him and importantly they still won’t trust more mainstream media sources…”
– Renee DiResta tweeted a similar point about the Covid information centers promoted by Spotify and other sites: “These supplement the feed of information”, but “they do not address the need or the entertainment element… “
– Kelly Weill Was observed that “a lot of US political conflicts are just proxy battles through customer service complaints”, that is, “in a constituency with no rights, the only common sense of power individual consumers *will* leave a negative review on Yelp…”
– How big is this Spotify story? Well, the WSJ homepage is already lead with it all night long…
Diversity: Alt-rock band Belly “wanted to remove their music from Spotify, but it was contractually complicated – so the group wrote ‘Remove Spotify’ on their Spotify page…”

Big picture

Oliver Darcy wrote: “Consider the fact that we are almost six years from the 2016 election, when the real problem of misinformation is inevitable and some tech companies are still having problems. It is extremely difficult to establish the underlying protocols.A lot of reports of spreading lies simply involve asking companies about their policies and then often the reason. why blatant violations are not enforced…”

“The Book Ban Effort Spreads Across the United States”

It’s one of the top headlines on New York Times website Sunday night. Elizabeth A. Harris and Alexandra Alter write: “Parents, activists, school board officials and legislators around the country are challenging the books at a pace not seen in many years. decade.

Key Stats: “The American Library Association said in a preliminary report that it received 330 ‘unprecedented’ reports on book challenges, each of which may include multiple books, last fall.”

“Conservative groups in particular, fueled by social media, are now pushing for challenges,” and “the most frequent targets” include books on race, gender, and sexuality, although “challenges Book awareness doesn’t just come from the right,” the reporters noted. Fox recently blasted the Washington state school district’s action against “To Kill a Mockingbird.” However, the network did not mention “Maus,” according to a search by TVEyes. CNN and MSNBC cited both books in recent coverage…

“Maus” reached #1 on Amazon

You’ve certainly heard of the McMinn County, Tennessee school board voting to ban the Holocaust-themed graphic novel “Maus” from its classrooms. But did you know the vote took place on January 10? It only became national news when the vote was “reported by a local newspaper, The Tennessee Holler, on Wednesday,” as the NYT notes. here.
Since then, copies of “Maus” have become a hot commodity. “Three different editions of the Pulitzer Prize-winning work are in the top seven books on Amazon since Sunday afternoon, “Slate’s Daniel Politi Written. “The Complete Maus, consisting of two volumes of the novel, has topped the Amazon bestseller list. The first volume of the book is third on the list, while the second volume is seventh.”

“They are creating a parallel economy”

That’s what Fox’s Dan Bongino, who was recently banned from YouTube and Google Ads, argued on his show Saturday night. Some studies have shown that deplatforming “works” in that it reduces toxicity on social networks. But the opposite argument, advanced by Bongino, is that the offending content doesn’t go away, it just moves.

“You look so much younger now when you’re not on YouTube,” quipped Devin Nunes, his guest, CEO of Trump’s social media company. He then predicts “millions of Americans” will leave Big Tech for platforms like Trump’s, which have yet to launch. “I think they’re doing this to themselves, these big tech companies,” Bongino said. “They’re creating a parallel economy right under their noses, in a similar way to the split news ecosystem in the ’90s with the advent of Fox News.”

“Complicate the story”

My main guest on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” is Amanda Ripley, author of “High Conflict”, an essential read on how to de-escalate existential disputes “between us and them”. Journalists should stop “simplifying and amplifying,” she said. Don’t be a “conflict entrepreneur.” Instead, try to “complicate the story.”
For example, highlight the stories of people who are making a positive difference. And said the conflict context in the news: “How many school boards are breaking out in conflict,” in total how many? “How many constituencies are restricting voting rights?” See two clip on…

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