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Joe Rogan apologizes for using racist ‘N word’

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US commentator Joe Rogan has apologized for using the "N word" and other "idiotic" racist language while hosting his popular but controversial podcast

US commentator Joe Rogan has apologized for using the “N word” and other “idiotic” racist language while hosting his popular but controversial podcast – Copyright AFP Luis ROBAYO

US podcaster Joe Rogan apologized Saturday for his past use of racist language including the “N word” and said streaming giant Spotify had deleted some of the most offensive episodes of his show.

“My sincere and humble apologies,” Rogan said in a nearly-six-minute Instagram post addressing what he called “the most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.”

Rogan addressing his own incendiary language is the latest explosive development to roil Spotify and its flagship star, who have both faced a popular backlash over Covid-19 misinformation on his shows.

The 54-year-old acknowledged he had a particular podcast episode removed which referred to his seeing a movie in a Black neighborhood where he said “it was like we were in ‘Planet of the Apes’.”

The New York Times reported Saturday that as many as 70 episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience” show had been quietly taken off Spotify. The streaming service had yet to respond to queries from AFP.

Rogan said his use of the “N word” over a 12-year period — highlighted in a recently uncovered compilation video of him using the word — looks “horrible, even to me.”

He said he believed at the time that as long as he was using it in context that people would understand his actions.

“I never used it to be racist, because I’m not racist,” he said.

But there is “no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word, nevermind publicly on a podcast,” he added.

“If a white person says that word it’s racist and toxic, but a Black person can use it and it can be a punchline, it can be a term of endearment, it could be lyrics to a rap song, it could be a positive affirmation,” Rogan went on.

“It’s a very unusual word, but it’s not my word to use. I’m well aware of that now.”

Spotify’s stock fell sharply Thursday amid controversy over Rogan’s show, which garners up to 11 million listeners per episode.

Music legends Neil Young and Joni Mitchell as well as other artists asked that their songs be removed from the platform in protest of Rogan, who has been accused of spouting misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccinations, either directly or through the guests he interviews on his show.

As for his racist language, Rogan said he was offering “since and humble apologies.”

“I can’t go back in time and change what I said…. but I do hope that this can be a teachable moment for anybody that doesn’t realize how offensive that word can be coming out of a white person’s mouth — in context or out of context,” he said.


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Solar Flares Or Sabotage? Internet Theories On Today’s Massive Cell Phone Outage

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Solar Flares Or Sabotage? Internet Theories On Today's Massive Cell Phone Outage

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Massive cell phone outages across America are being reported today by customers of AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Boost Mobile, US Cellular, and Straight Talk Wireless, according to data from Downdetector, an online platform that monitors connectivity. That story and more news you need to read today, inside.

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Meta Expands Access to Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

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Meta Expands Access to Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

Meta has announced that it’s finally expanding access to its Creator Marketplace tool, which will give more businesses the capacity to search for creators to work with on their Instagram campaigns.

Meta first launched its Creator Marketplace back in 2022, enabling U.S.-based brands to search and connect with relevant platform influencers based on a range of qualifiers, including focus topics, follower counts, location, etc.

And now, businesses in the following regions will also be able to access the tool:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • India
  • Brazil

In addition to this, Meta also says that Chinese export brands will also be invited to connect with onboarded creators in countries outside of China.

Which is interesting, considering Meta’s tenuous history with the CCP’s “Great Firewall”, but the deal here relates to Chinese businesses operating in regions outside of their homeland, which is somewhat separate to Meta’s internal dealings.

In addition to expanding access, Meta’s also rolling new machine learning-based recommendations within Creator Marketplace, which will use Instagram data to help brands more easily discover creators who are the best fit for their campaigns.

Instagram Creator Marketplace

As you can see in this example, the new recommendations will highlight accounts that have strong engagement rates in your niche, have mentioned your brand in the past, or have produced good results for similar businesses.

That could make it easier to find the right fit, or at the least, to give you more options to consider in your process.

Branded Content collaborations can be highly effective on IG, by using the established expertise and experience of creators who have already built a following in the app, and know what works, to boost your promotions.

By working with the right creators, with connection to your target audience, you can secure valuable endorsement within key communities, which can help to germinate your branding in the right communities.

Brands can check out Instagram’s creator marketplace in Meta Business Suite, with access coming to these new regions shortly.



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X Faces Restrictions in India and Pakistan Amid Government Orders for Content Removals

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New Report Finds That X May Be Inflating its Ad Performance Results

X is facing new challenges in both India and neighboring Pakistan, with the Indian Government calling on X to censor specified accounts to counter unrest, and Pakistani officials seemingly blocking access to X altogether, amid accusations of vote rigging in its recent election.

Firstly, in India. As confirmed by X, the Indian Government has issued a new order for X to ban users that it has identified as prompting civil disobedience.

As per X:

“The Indian government has issued executive orders requiring X to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties including significant fines and imprisonment. In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts.”

X says that even though it is moving to fulfill these orders, it will also continue to challenge the Indian Government’s bans through whatever legal means it has available.

It’s not the first time that the Indian Government has demanded specific censorship from the platform, with both X and previous Twitter management being called upon to remove certain comments and users who’ve gone against official rulings.

Last year, X was forced to remove a BBC documentary that was critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after it was banned in the nation, which many used as an example to highlight X’s inability to uphold its own free speech approach.  

Twitter, meanwhile, was served with a non-compliance notice in 2021 for refusing to action similar account takedown demands from the Indian Government. In that instance, which directly related to civil unrest, India threatened to shut down Twitter entirely in response, while it also suggested that the company’s Indian staff could face up to seven years jail time for failing to comply.

As such, Twitter was effectively forced to action India’s requests, in order to protect its staff (note: The Indian Government has denied that any such threats occurred).

Both incidents serve as reminders of how authoritarian regimes will look to control mass communication platforms, like Twitter and X, in order to manage messaging, and combat noncompliance.

Pakistan, too, has a long history of seeking to control social platforms, though more notably due to “inappropriate content”, as opposed to what users are saying. Pakistan, which is a Muslim country, has banned various apps, at different times, in response to concerns about content, though in this latest instance, it does seem to be taking a leaf out of India’s book in using bans to quell civil unrest.

X will now have to find a way to maintain an adequate balance between adhering to such requests, while upholding its own “free speech” ethos, though X owner Elon Musk has been clear from the start that his free speech push will not go beyond the bounds of local laws in each region.

So while Twitter has challenged India’s requests in the past, and X has vowed to seek further legal clarification around the same, it will be aligning with the Indian government’s requests, and removing users and content in line with their requirements.

Does that mean that X isn’t willing to stand its ground on its much lauded open speech approach?

No, not when the alternative is to see X banned entirely, which would eliminate all speech for the impacted individuals, and reduce all protests against government action.

And no matter what your opinion of X may be, it is still a highly influential platform, in many ways, which is why officials are still looking to control the discussion in the app.

Though the bigger for question for Elon specifically is how such actions could impact his other businesses.

Tesla is still working to get into the emerging Indian market, which could become a huge sales opportunity for the company. Tesla’s been working with the Indian Government to enact new concessions on import duties, in order to bring its vehicles to market, and it’d be interesting to know whether Indian officials have used such as a lever to pressure action at X.

Based on what we know, it does seem like X would have little choice either way, but it’s another consideration in this instance, which could cause some uncomfortable internal discussions around the same.



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