YouTube is pulling down InfoWars videos and Facebook has suspended Alex Jones’ account. But it looks like Spotify has no problems hosting the right-wing radio show.
The podcast addition surfaced over the past 24-48 hours, apparently in the latest batch of new shows. Spotify has gone so far as to call Alex Jones a ‘seasoned radio broadcaster’ in their description of the Infowars podcast.
This move to host Alex Jones is baffling to many Spotify users, as the company has recently removed songs from rappers like R. Kelly and XXX Tentacion, citing their ‘Hateful Conduct Policy’ as the reason. Alex Jones has been at the forefront of massive right-wing conspiracies, with direct incidents of harm and violence resulting.
Spotify is best known as a music streaming service, but it also hosts podcasts and is aiming to broaden this area.
The move to allow Alex Jones a place on the platform has users up in arms, with many taking to social media to post screenshots of them canceling their accounts.
An internet campaign that aims to convince advertisers to stop supporting platforms that allow bigotry, racism and sexism has taken up the fight against Alex Jones’ presence on Spotify.
The campaign, called ‘Sleeping Giants,’ has been encouraging users to tell Spotify exactly why they are canceling their membership.
On the platform itself, Spotify users are petitioning to have the podcast removed on Spotify’s ‘Community’ forum.. At the time of publication, the effort has garnered more than 800 signatures.
Jones has been the subject of intense controversy because of his radio show, to the point that families of the Sandy Hook school shooting are suing him for calling them crisis actors who were paid to appear in distress. Jones has recently moved to dismiss that lawsuit, arguing that he was covering the tragedy from a new perspective.
Of course, Jones has a lot of fans, and controversy only fuels that popularity. That makes him an attractive addition for Spotify, which was probably betting that the show would slip into the stack unnoticed. But that attempt directly contradicts with earlier attempts to crack down on ‘Hateful Conduct,’ and raises questions of whether Spotify still supports that initiative.
Incidentally, the move closely follows the departure of Troy Carter, who was rumored to be outraged by Spotify’s crackdown on rappers like XXXTentacion.
Carter, viewed as a public relations conduit to the rap community, exited after repeatedly denying the rumors. Now, the lingering question is whether Carter would have vetoed the Jones addition.
So far, Spotify has yet to respond to the outrage.