by William Skink
If you haven’t heard about Joe Rogan’s move to Spotify, or you heard about it but don’t get why it’s a big deal, let me explain.
Joe Rogan is arguably the most popular and influential podcaster out there. Before signing an exclusive deal with Spotify, Rogan’s The Joe Rogan Experience had millions of subscribers on Big Tech platforms like YouTube.
The move will probably negatively impact Rogan’s audience in the short-term. So why did he do it? One word: censorship.
Rogan has not been shy about criticizing Big Tech; constantly morphing community standards, inconsistent enforcement, demonetizing content, rampant censorship of “wrong think” and destroying the livelihoods of the little fish who built their channels and audiences and didn’t understand how vulnerable they would be to Big Tech censorship.
The straw that broke the camel’s back for Rogan was not being allowed to have any doctor’s who don’t toe the company line regarding the Coronavirus on his show. So Rogan signed an exclusive deal with Spotify, then let Alex Jones break the news to the world.
While Rogan is pals with Alex Jones, the real reason he allowed Jones to get the scoop on corporate media is because Jones was the test-subject for censorship back in August of 2018, when he was de-platformed across multiple platforms in a coordinated flexing of power by Big Tech.
Here’s Tom Luongo describing the relevance of Rogan’s move to Spotify:
Rogan’s willingness to talk with and listen to anyone is his greatest asset. It is the key to his rise and his future success on Spotify, who desperately needs a big name to keep their business afloat.
Because in an age of endless spectacle and TV screens and websites crammed to the gills with graphics to distract you from the content, the simplicity of a conversation between two people who aren’t shouting at each other has become a welcome node of sanity.
For a long time we’ve been waiting for a big name to finally walk away from one of the big social media platforms for treating them and by proxy us like livestock.
Because the power platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube wield comes from their dominance and the unwillingness for major influencers to leave them.
Joe Rogan is too big to take down and doesn’t measure his self-worth by his followers.
Alex Jones was the first casualty in this war and almost no one stood up for him. Even Rogan clearly thought he could bargain with Silicon Valley by, effectively, working from the inside.
He didn’t want to believe, like so many normal people, that they were that evil and hellbent on maintaining certain people had control of politics. But what’s been clear to many of us for a long time now is now clear to him.
And that makes his move a giant wake up call to his millions of followers that it is not acceptable for YouTube or Twitter or Facebook to treat them the way they have.
I’m not a huge fan of Joe Rogan, but, as a writer and artist, I am a big fan of free speech and critical thinking, so I applaud Rogan’s gutsy move and the big FUCK YOU his move signals to Big Tech.