UPDATE: On Thursday, Aug. 2, Stitcher announced it would remove The Alex Jones show from its platform.
Spotify has pulled multiple episodes of far-right political commentator and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ podcast, citing streaming service’s hate content policy.
Earlier this week, the Infowars founder tweeted out a link to his The Alex Jones show podcast on Spotify and podcast distributor Spreaker after Facebook decided to suspend Jones’ personal account and YouTube took down several videos from Jones’ InfoWars channel for violating “longstanding policies against child endangerment and hate speech.”
— Fight Against The Censorship —
Big tech giants are currently censoring us harder than ever. Help us fight this censorship by spreading the links below for our downloadable podcasts. ?
?? Spreaker: https://t.co/fNDSRsZPzd ??
?? Spotify: https://t.co/wWDxVECy8w ??
— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) July 30, 2018
Soon, Spotify users began decrying the company for hosting Jones’ show as well, posting suggestions in the community section — at least one of which has received over 1,700 votes since Monday — and deleting their accounts.
In a statement on Wednesday, a Spotify spokesperson told Billboard the company would be removing an unspecified number of Jones’ episodes and issued a statement: “We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community. Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of ‘The Alex Jones Show’ podcast for violating our hate content policy.”
In May, Spotify announced its new hate content policy, defining it as “content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including, race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.”
Spotify hosts over 100,000 podcasts, many of which are uploaded to the platform without direct deals but by using third party content aggregators such as Spreaker for distribution.
Meanwhile, Spotify continues to offer dozens of episode of Jones’ podcast on the service, dating back to June 2017.
Spotify is not the only podcast platform that hosts Jones’ content. The Alex Jones Show is also hosted on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, among others. While Spotify refused to confirm which of Jones’ episodes it removed from its platform, it appears one dated July 12 was among them, in which Jones discusses Stormy Daniels’ arrest and featured guests Lindsay Grathwohl and Mike Cernovich. That episode is still available on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher. (Apple Podcasts and Stitcher only host podcasts dating back until July 5.) Apple and Stitcher could not be reached for comment.
Jones is currently defending himself against a defamation suit from parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, five years ago, alleging Infowars spread false claims that the shooting was an elaborate hoax.