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YouTube takes down antivaxx Joe Rogan interview with Dr Robert Malone which likened vaccines to mass psychosis

The Independent logo The Independent 04/01/2022 Tom Fenton

YouTube has removed a video of a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience in which the podcast host was talking to Dr Robert Malone – a physician with a history of controversial statements related to Covid-19.

The episode in question, No 1757, was uploaded to Spotify on New Year's Eve, as Mr Rogan has an exclusive deal with the streaming service. While Mr Rogan no longer uploads full shows to YouTube, several third-party channels have taken it upon themselves to post the episodes that would otherwise only be available on Spotify.

While a number of recent JRE episodes remain on YouTube, one featuring Dr Malone was removed by the platform after only a few hours, The Post Millenial reports.

Given the doctor’s contested views on Covid-19, including his opposition to vaccine mandates for minors, the act by YouTube has sparked several accusations of censorship amongst right-wing politicians and political commentators.

The now-viral conversation between Mr Rogan and Dr Malone saw the latter drawing parallels between current American society and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, when the Nazis came into power, saying American society is developing a “mass formation psychosis”.

“It was from, basically, European intellectual inquiry into what the heck happened in Germany in the ‘20s and ‘30s. Very intelligent, highly educated population, and they went barking mad. And how did that happen? The answer is mass formation psychosis.

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“When you have a society that has become decoupled from each other, and has free-floating anxiety, in a sense that things don’t make sense. We can’t understand it. And then their attention gets focused by a leader or series of events on one small point, just like hypnosis. They literally become hypnotized and can be led anywhere,” said Mr Malone.

A link to the now-removed YouTube video shows that it was removed for “violating” the platforms Community Guidelines, which suggests that misinformation was their rationale for doing so.

The Independent attempted to reach out to YouTube for comment, but thus far the tech giant has not responded.

UFC ring announcer Joe Rogan is also known for his Joe Rogan Experience podcast (Getty Images) © Provided by The Independent UFC ring announcer Joe Rogan is also known for his Joe Rogan Experience podcast (Getty Images)

The interview came just one day after Dr Malone was banned from Twitter, which also seemingly relates to a Community Guideline violation.

The ban was brought up at the very beginning of Dr Malone’s appearance on JRE, with the physician stating: “I try really hard to give people the information and help them to think, not to tell them what to think.”

“But the point is if I’m not — if it’s not okay for me to be part of the conversation, even though I’m pointing out scientific facts that may be inconvenient, then who is who can be allowed?”

While a number of social media users rushed to the defence of Rogan and Dr Malone, others, such as YouTuber and VidCon creator Hank Green, took a more critical view of the exchange.

“His influence and income grow when his content is more contrarian, and so we need to stop being surprised when his content promotes perspectives and people that are really good at making people believe things that are definitely false,” he recently tweeted.

A second re-upload of Episode 1757 appeared on YouTube over the weekend, although that video is yet to be removed at the time of writing.

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