Deplatforming works!

Remember Charles C. Johnson? No? There was a time a few years ago when he was the bad boy du jour, the awful far-right provocateur who was creeping all over social media, getting all kinds of attention, taunting and doxxing people, saying anything he felt like on social media to stir up responses. He even started a “news” site or two to peddle his brand of assholery.

Then he was banned on Twitter in 2015.

It’s like he fell off the planet after that. Sure, he tried a few more stunts, got a little attention now and then, but he wasn’t the raging viral infection he was in the early years of the 2010s. Milo Yiannopoulos should have been paying close attention, because he few years later he would be getting the same oxygen-deprivation treatment, and look where he is now, peddling gee-gaws on a militant Catholic YouTube show. I had completely forgotten Johnson myself — oh, the fickleness of internet fame — until I saw this clip on Twitter.

Blacks have a proclivity towards violence, and it’s driven by one gene, this MAOA variant that the Blacks have, Google it and do your own research. It’s all wrong, it’s fundamentally wrong, based on a few anecdotal level science papers that don’t even claim that the MAOA allele is causal, or that it’s unique to Black people. Johnson is not a scientist or science communicator. He’s barely qualified to tie his own shoes. And yet, there’s Joe Rogan, handing him a megaphone and letting him ramble on, only feebly asking, But could it really be true, though?. (In case were wondering, here’s a John Horgan article shredding the whole idea.)

That’s always been Joe Rogan’s job. He’s a popular, independent platform with a complete lack of responsibility, eager to promote the most odious trash without vetting anything. Johnson was at his peak, an attention-grabbing racist asshole, and that’s actually what made him attractive to Rogan. The time to ask But could it really be true, though? was before he brought on a liar like Johnson.

That clip, by the way, is one of hundreds that Spotify is now frantically deleting, including a multitude of cases where Rogan is happily using the N-word. People are now excavating all these clips of Rogan’s racism, like the one where he calls a Black neighborhood Planet of the Apes, which Spotify can’t touch — the internet doesn’t forget that sort of thing. And don’t forget the misogyny!

That guy on the left, who is telling his anecdotes about sexually harassing women at his comedy club, really ought to be in jail, rather than making Rogan guffaw and clap at the story of a woman being ruined.

Rogan ought to contemplate the fate of Charles C. Johnson, and Milo Yiannopoulos, all of their popularity demolished in a relative moment as more and more people used their own vileness, the tool they used to claw themselves to the top of the social media heap, to dash them down into the refuse heap of history. It happens fast on the internet, you know.


  1. says

    With the amount of money he’s making you’d think that Rogan could hire at least one person to keep him out of trouble by screening guests. Or that Spotify would have suggested he hire one.

  2. Snarki, child of Loki says

    So, does it count as “deplatforming” when you have Rogan on a scaffold, and you open the trap under him?

    Because Rogan should be tots deplatformed.

  3. wzrd1 says

    What’s fascinating is, Spotify’s CEO goes public with a statement that they’re not going to muzzle the mutt, all while feverishly deleting his podcasts that offend.
    Just more spousal abuser applying makeup to cover the injuries.

  4. PaulBC says

    …because we white people are so non-violent. A quick glance at the last 100 years of history (or 108 for good measure) should make you wonder if there is some differential in violence that needs to be explained by a gene or anything else.

    This kind of idiocy really gets my Irish up. :)

  5. raven says

    …because we white people are so non-violent. Good point.

    As a Boomer, for most of my lifetime, the USA has been in one war after another. At this very moment, we just got done with our latest foray into the middle east, Syria and Iraq III with ISIS.
    The up and coming maybe war has to do with Russia and Ukraine. A direct conflict, as opposed to a proxy war, with a nuclear weapons state will be a new form.

    The history of Europe back as far as we have history has been warfare and more warfare. Ancient Greece and then the Roman empire, which expanded by force of arms and fell the same way. Up to the present.
    Europe was also the major colonial power and spread around the world by conquering everyone who couldn’t fight back. The USA is a majority white country by conquest and occupation.

    Now explain to me once again how we white people are always so peaceful.

  6. F.O. says

    @timgueguen #2

    With the amount of money he’s making you’d think that Rogan could hire at least one person to keep him out of trouble by screening guests.

    The thing is, the more batshit insane people he platforms, the larger the outcry, and outcry is engagement and engagement is what sells adverts.

    As chrislawson says, this is literally his business model.

  7. lakitha tolbert says

    #7 Raven

    Thank you for that. I was going to ask the same question! How is it that black people are the violent ones? But this is the same rhetoric used against every marginalized group: the thuggish blacks, the predatory gays, the savage Indians, the Mexican rapists, and blood libel…it’s a theme that never seems to get old.

  8. dstatton says

    From his Wikipedia page: Johnson has a long-standing relationship with Silicon Valley financier and Trump backer Peter Thiel. You know, the guy who is bankrolling J.D. Vance, the Yalie, venture capitalist hillbilly.

  9. felixmagister says

    I just want them to find the gene for thinking complex features are caused by single genes.

  10. Pierce R. Butler says

    Remember Charles C. Johnson? No? There was a time a few years ago when he was the bad boy du jour, the awful far-right provocateur …

    We don’t hear much about Gregor and Otto Strasser lately, either.

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    … until I saw this clip on Twitter.

    PZ Myers “follows” Charles Johnson?!?

  12. simplicio says

    Since the ‘warrior gene’ is so common, why is the Brunner syndrome so rare? They both seem to be blamed on the same defect in the MAOA gene. And more importantly, what is the defect in the MAGA gene that makes people want to storm the Capitol?

  13. birgerjohansson says

    Simplicito@ 16
    Between the current business in Ottawa and the Capitol -Maga storming there should be enough test subjects to look for mutations.

  14. birgerjohansson says

    Herr Doktor Wiki has a lot of Charles Johnson persons.
    Is the other CJ (that got better) the owner of a middle name that might identify him?

  15. StevoR says

    @ ^ Hmm .. yes that is a very long list of people with that name! :

    The mathematician maybe? : Charles Royal Johnson whio specialise s in linera algebra :

    Or the scholar and author of philosophical scholar and the author of novels, short stories, screen-and-teleplays, and essays?

    Or the North Carolina Amercian politician?

    Or ..?

  16. PaulBC says

    Well, Charles isn’t quite as common as John, but it’s pretty common, and Johnson is the second most common surname in the US after Smith, if you believe Wikipedia.

    My last name isn’t nearly as common as all that, and I still get barraged with notices from about papers written by namesakes on topics I know absolutely nothing about.

  17. notaandomposter says

    my $.02 about deplatforming Joe Rogan- it won’t work (unless/until Rogan violates his contract with Spotify) money has HUGE sway here and Spotify/Rogan have a $100M contract- they’d have to pay Rogan many many dollars if they ‘fire’ him- and that will just make him more valuable on a more radical forum

    what is working (I think) is what artists are doing: applying pressure on Spotify, reminding the tech workers that Spotify relies on that they can work elsewhere without compromising their own ethics, and exposing the shitty pay difference that the Spotify model allows (artists don’t get much when their music gets streamed on Spotify, Rogan got $100M maybe Spotify will have to raise the rates if they want artists not to so easily write off that revenue not to be associated w/ Rogan)

  18. Walter Solomon says

    The violence in impoverished, POC communities is no different than what you’ll find in any marginalized community anywhere in the world. The moment someone raises genetics to explain the supposedly unique behavior of a certain people group, I immediately tune them out. It’s obviously racist nonsense not supported by any science but by their racist delusions.

    As for Rogan, I never understood the appeal. He’s not a great interviewer and his guests are usually uninteresting and offer nothing insightful. I was an avid viewer of Charlie Rose, as problematic as he turned out to be, because he actually could give a decent interview and his guests were interesting to listen to.