Looks like Spotify is reviving its ‘Hate Conduct Policy’ — starting with Alex Jones’ InfoWars. But not every episode will be removed.
Spotify has quickly reversed its decision to incorporate Alex Jones’ InfoWars podcast onto its platform, thanks to a torrent of protest from thousands of subscribers. Earlier this week, the streaming music platform welcomed InfoWars as one of its latest podcast additions, while praising Jones for being ‘a seasoned radio broadcaster‘.
That triggered a surge of protests, including repeated cancellations — or threats of cancellations — from upset subscribers.
Just moments ago, Spotify officially confirmed the cancellation of ‘specific episodes’.
“We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community,” the company stated. “Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of ‘The Alex Jones Show’ podcast for violating our hate content policy.”
One thing to note, however. Spotify has indicated that it’s removing ‘specific’ episodes, not the whole series of podcasts. So let’s see how that goes down with irate users over the next 24-48 hours.
On Twitter, a seemingly endless stream of complaints over the Alex Jones addition had emerged.
Many users were threatening to cancel, while others have already cut the cord — and uploaded their cancellation confirmations as proof.
Earlier today, a search for ‘cancel Spotify’ on Twitter yielded hundreds — if not thousands — of irate threats like these.
Separately, a petition on Spotify’s Community pages garnered nearly 2,000 votes, with subscribers demanding that InfoWars be yanked.
“Please consider banning Alex Jones’ Info Wars podcast,” the protest urged. “His hate-filled and inaccurate ‘reporting’ should not be given a platform anywhere, especially not on Spotify. I can not in good conscious continue to pay for a paid subscription for a service that also provides a hateful man a platform to spread more hate and fear.”
Spotify initially seemed unwilling to budge, potentially because of the revenue upside associated with including InfoWars.
Ryan Nelson is someone who decided to cancel his subscription because of the InfoWars addition. Here’s the response he received yesterday when specifying his reason to Spotify support:
“Thanks for getting in touch and giving us your feedback about the podcast Info Wars. Though we’re sad to see you go, we’re here to help cancel your subscription.”
But Spotify quickly shifted course, especially after a number of publications intensified the protests.
DMN started covering this yesterday. Today, the situation was garnering ink from Huffington Post, Variety, and The Hill, among other big-name publications. That further fueled outrage on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks, with high-profile artists and even Spotify executives getting involved.
In total, it looks like Jones’ show was on Spotify for about 48 hours before the specific episodes were removed.