Joe Rogan Took Ivermectin After Testing Positive for COVID-19 Despite FDA Warnings Against It
The FDA issued several statements in recent weeks warning that ivermectin is not approved for “use in treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans” after misinformation caused many COVID patients to take the drug.
Joe Rogan Takes Ivermectin
Popular podcaster Joe Rogan announced Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19 and took several treatments, including the controversial unproven drug ivermectin.
In an Instagram video, Rogan said that before testing positive, he began feeling sick, weary, and had a fever. He claimed he is feeling better now and thanked “modern medicine” for reviving him, but he did not say whether he had previously been vaccinated against the virus.
“We immediately threw the kitchen sink at it, all kinds of meds,” Rogan said in the video announcing his diagnosis. “Monoclonal antibodies, ivermectin, Z-Pak, prednisone, everything. And I also got an NAD drop and a vitamin drip and a vitamin drip.”
Doctors might take some issues with a handful of Rogan’s selected remedies, but his use of ivermectin is specifically turning heads. While the drug has been approved in specific doses to treat certain parasites in humans, it has recently become known as a horse dewormer that some are taking under the false impression that it can either cure or prevent COVID.
The FDA issued a statement warning against the use of the drug, saying it has “not approved ivermectin for use in treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans.” It also warned that misuse of the drug can be dangerous and the doses given to horses could be “highly toxic in humans.” According to The New York Times, poison control calls regarding ivermectin have jumped “fivefold” since July.
While this is not always the case, those rushing to take ivermectin are often the same people who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19, even though the vaccines have been proven to be both safe and effective.
Rogan’s History of Spreading COVID-19 Misinformation
Rogan’s choice to tout ivermectin as one of his COVID cures is just the latest instance of the podcaster — who hosts the most-listened-to podcast on Spotify — spreading dangerous misinformation regarding COVID-19.
In the spring he faced serious backlash from health officials for saying young and healthy people do not need to get vaccinated. He ended up slightly walking back his remarks, saying at the time that he is just a “moron” and not a trusted source for health information. Still, many felt his stupidity claims hardly suffice as a proper excuse for someone with a loyal following of millions of people who trust his opinion.
Since then, Rogan has only continued to downplay the virus and suggest it is something the public does not need to worry about. He has spoken out against vaccine requirements, and he spread further misinformation in August by falsely claiming that COVID vaccines could cause super mutations of the virus, which experts quickly denounced.
Doctor’s Tackle Rogan’s List of COVID Treatments
Some of his other COVID treatments have also been slammed by doctors. YouTube’s Dr. Mike Varshavski, for instance, made a video evaluating each treatment Rogan listed, giving a seal of approval to monoclonal antibodies. Others, however, caused him to issue words of caution.
Varshavski said Rogan’s choice to use a Z-pack, which is an antibiotic, does not “go hand in hand” to treat a virus. In fact, he said doctors often discourage using antibiotics to treat viruses because they can further complicate symptoms. Regarding his use of prednisone, a steroid that is used to treat seriously ill and hospitalized COVID-19 patients, Varshavski said that unless Rogan was incredibly sick, the drug might not play a role in recovery.
Varshavski also slammed the use of vitamin and NAD IV therapy as “marketing scams” that are made to profit off peoples’ fear of the virus.
“There is no proof either of these things help with COVID 19,” he said. “Preventing it, making it less severe, none of the above.”
Varshavski noted that as long as a person eats a balanced diet — which Rogan says he does and claims is one of the reasons he feels he has nothing to fear over COVID — these drips are not needed. He added that in some cases, too much of these vitamins can end up being a bad thing.
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (The Hollywood Reporter) (Los Angeles Times)
Swifties Rally Outside Los Angeles Courthouse Amid Ticketmaster Lawsuit Hearing
Over 300 fans are suing Ticketmaster over the “disaster” they experienced while attempting to purchase tickets for Taylor Swift’s latest tour.
Taylor Swift fans rallied outside of a Los Angeles courthouse on Monday as the first hearing for a lawsuit they filed against Ticketmaster took place.
Swift’s fans, dubbed “Swifties,” sued the ticket giant late last year after the presale for the singer’s Eras Tour left many fans empty-handed. Swift herself called the ordeal “excruciating” after her fans were kicked out of the virtual queue, lost tickets they thought they had purchased, and experienced technical difficulties for hours on end.
Dozens of fans, including virtual attendees, spoke at Monday’s hearing, which largely centered around the status of the suit. There are over 300 plaintiffs represented in the case, though attorney Jennifer Anne Kinder, the self-proclaimed Swiftie leading the case, said she does not plan on pursuing class-action status.
Fans are seeking at least $2,500 each in damages, though as one fan told CNN: “It has nothing to do with the money.” Swifties really want to take aim at the alleged monopoly Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, hold over the entertainment and live event industries. Live Nation is currently the subject of a Department of Justice investigation over potential abuse of power.
Swifties traveled from across the country to attend the hearing and rally. Roughly a dozen stood outside the courthouse carrying signs using Swift’s lyrics to take aim at Ticketmaster. One sign featured a broken heart with “Ticketmaster” and “Live Nation” written on either side. “Are you ready for it?” the sign asked.
Others used lines like “my pennies made your crown” and “can’t shake it off.”
What’s In The Lawsuit?
Kinder’s firm made a website called “Take Down Ticketmaster” to lay out issues fans had with the Swift presale and with the company as a whole.
“We monitored the Taylor Swift sale in real time of what was happening to fans across the U.S.,” the website says. “Collectively, fans’ experiences with Ticketmaster indicated a potential pattern of fraudulent behavior and antitrust violations by the company.”
The site also encouraged music fans across genres and artists to fight back against Ticketmaster and take “back our power in the live entertainment ecosystem.”
In their lawsuit, Swifties accused Ticketmaster of “anticompetitive conduct” by imposing higher prices on the sale, resale, and presale markets. It also claims the company gave out more presale codes than demand allowed, and “intentionally and purposefully mislead ticket purchasers by allowing scalpers and bots access” to the presale.
According to Ticketmaster, the incredibly high demand, coupled with an onslaught of bot attacks, forced the platform to slow sales down. The company delayed sales in certain cities and canceled the general sale altogether before it started slowly releasing pairs of tickets to fans with presale codes who did not have tickets in their accounts.
The Eras Tour kicked off in Arizona earlier this month. Swifties are not the only fandom Ticketmaster has to worry about though, as just last week, Drake fans slapped the company with a price-gouging suit.
See what others are saying: (CNN) (The Los Angeles Times) (Rolling Stone)
Twitch Tightens Policies on Explicit Deepfakes
“The creation, promotion, or viewing of this content is not welcome on Twitch,” the company said in a blog post.
New Rules Regarding “Synthetic NCEI”
Twitch is cracking down on explicit deepfake content and will indefinitely suspend users who share or promote it after a first offense.
“The existence of this content, and its presence and distribution on various sites, is personally violating and beyond upsetting. Deepfake porn isn’t a problem on Twitch, but it’s a terrible issue that some streamers (almost exclusively women) may face on the internet at large,” Twitch said in a Tuesday blog post, explaining it wants to “help streamers protect themselves” in any case this issue arises.
Twitch referred to this content as “synthetic non-consensual exploitative images,” or “synthetic NCEI,” but many of the platform’s users have casually referred to it as deepfake porn. Synthetic NCEI involves someone taking the face of another person and editing it into a pornographic video to make it appear as though that person filmed themselves demonstrating those sexual acts. The new rise in access to this technology has concerned many, as it is easy to use it to exploit others.
While synthetic NCEI is already banned on Twitch, the company took a more actionable step against it in its Tuesday post by creating an Adult Sexual Violence and Exploitation policy. The new rule prohibits the intentional sharing, promoting, or creation of synthetic NCEI and those acts can result in an indefinite suspension on the first offense.
Twitch also updated its Adult Nudity policy to include synthetic NCEI. Even if it is only shown briefly, that content will still be taken down and result in an enforcement.
In addition to the policy changes, Twitch made available a list of resources for those who might be impacted by or wish to learn more about synthetic NCEI.
“The creation, promotion, or viewing of this content is not welcome on Twitch,” the company said closing its blog post.
Growing Concerns About Explicit Deepfakes
Twitch’s updates come as synthetic NCEI and deepfakes have become a primary topic of concern for social media platforms. Earlier this year, Twitch was home to a major deepfake controversy after a streamer known as Atrioc was caught with an open tab to a website that hosted these videos. That site specifically hosted deepfakes of female Twitch streamers, some of whom were Atrioc’s colleagues.
Many women featured on the page spoke out against these deepfakes, explaining the trauma they endured knowing their face, image, and likeness were used in a sexual manner without their consent. It’s an issue that extends far past Twitch creators. Some fear they could be used for revenge porn, and there are already several cases where the technology is used to create sexual videos of celebrities.
On Tuesday, NBC News published a report finding that Facebook and Instagram ran suggestive ads featuring deepfakes of actresses like Emma Watson and Scarlett Johansson. The ads were for a deepfake app that told users they could “replace face with anyone.”
While the ads did not show explicit pornographic content, one ad featuring Watson was clearly meant to mimic the start of an explicit video, suggesting a sexual act was about to start. The face of the “Harry Potter” actress was seen looking into the camera before bending down.
The report found that 127 ads with Watson deepfakes and 74 with Johansson deepfakes ran across Meta’s platforms on Sunday and Monday, but have since been removed. The app in question was also removed from the Apple app store after NBC News contacted the tech giant for comment.
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Engadget) (Kotaku)
Fans Defend Pedro Pascal After Actor Refused to Read Thirst Tweets: “It’s Sexual Harassment”
Pascal has been dubbed the Internet’s “daddy,” but many think the joke has gone too far.
Pascal’s Heartthrob Status
Fans are defending actor Pedro Pascal after he refused to read thirst tweets on the red carpet, arguing that it is inappropriate and disrespectful to ask him to do so.
Pascal, the star of HBO’s “The Last of Us” and Disney+’s “The Mandalorian,” has become a major Hollywood heartthrob. He has even been widely dubbed as the Internet’s “daddy” by those posting about his handsome looks. The running joke grew last year when he did a Vanity Fair lie detector test and said he considered himself a “bigger daddy” than “Star Wars” star Oscar Isaac.
“Daddy is a state of mind, you know what I’m saying? I’m your daddy,” he quipped during the interview.
Since then, TikTokers have started posting thirst trap edits of Pascal, journalists have called him “daddy” on the red carpet, and interviewers have shown him tweets where fans call him a “cool, slutty daddy.”
Pascal has been a good sport about the public displays of lust for him, but many think the joke may have crossed a line. During last week’s red carpet premiere for season three of “The Mandalorian,” an Access Hollywood reporter went viral for asking Pascal to read thirst tweets to the camera. Pascal politely declined.
“No. Dirty! Dirty!” he told the reporter after reading through the tweets.
“For your enjoyment only,” she responded.
“Thank you very much,” Pascal said before exiting the interview.
Fans Condemn Thirst Tweet Interviews
In response, many who watched the clip condemned this treatment of Pascal, arguing it promoted constant objectification.
“I think it’s time for the internet to leave Pedro Pascal alone,” one person wrote. “It’s sexual harassment, but no one seems to care bc he’s a man + is graceful about it. It’s really gross and I would never want to be treated like that.”
“These jokes have gone way too far and he’s visibly uncomfortable,” another fan added.
Some claimed that while the Internet’s love of Pascal “started as harmless fun…the constant public objectification and sexualization must be terrible” and should stop.
“Being attractive, banking on it, selling it, and even at times enjoying some of the attention, doesn’t give everyone wholesale permission to sexualize you,” someone else argued.