Spotify deleting Alex Jones' podcast would make him a 'martyr for the alt-right'

Picture: Facebook

Picture: Facebook

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A music business expert has suggested Alex Jones would love Spotify to delete his Infowars podcast because it would "make him a martyr for the alt-right."

Spotify is hosting Alex Jones’ controversial Infowars following bans from YouTube and Facebook.

Infowars is an American right-wing conspiracy theory website owned by Alex Jones, which also operates a podcast.

Jones is known for advocating conspiracy theories about the American government, and has been accused of posting fake news stories.

Earlier in July, YouTube removed four of Infowars’ videos as they deemed them to feature hate speech, which saw his channel become suspended for 90 days. Also in early July Facebook banned Jones after four of his posts violated its community standards.

Jones’ actions have seen him receive a lot of criticism over a variety of false claims he’s made over the years, as he’s suggested some mass shootings in America - including Sandy Hook - were hoaxes, and even accused survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting as being “crisis actors”.

Spotify, which is mainly known for its music streaming services, also houses podcasts. The music streaming company decide what podcasts make it onto their platform, and some users have heavily cricticised them for allowing Jones’ podcast on the service.

Some users have suggested they will be cancelling their subscription to the service unless they take the Infowars podcasts down.

On Twitter, Louisa said: “Hey @Spotify, I use your app every single day. I pay for it. I will find another option if you don’t remove Infowars from your podcast hosting service. It’s an outrageously harmful show- and a bad business decision, as it will cost you customers and expose you to lawsuits.”

Talking to Jamie East on talkRADIO, music business expert and journalist, Eamonn Forde said: “In the wake of the outcry about this, he’s a loose cannon and his view points are somewhat unique, and I don’t know if that chimes with Spotify’s liberal policies.”

Spotify use aggregators to supply them with bundles of podcasts, as it looks to expand that section of its service.

“Obviously, it came through as this bundle of podcasts and they take the approval of the aggregator, but if someone puts up a podcast with something that is morally dangerous they would have to do it on a case by case basis, but at the moment this has not happened, it’s just arrived on there.”

Co-host Trisha Goddard asked if advertisers would pull out of Spotify amid the podcast causing criticism.

 “Well, certain advertisers will want to be associated with other viewpoints as well, I know we live in this liberal utopia and these viewpoints are there,” he said.

“You may disagree with his politics, you may disagree with what he has said in the past, but really I guess the issue for Spotify is; he has to put something in his podcast that is deemed so beyond the peal that they can actually pull the plug.

“I guess he probably would love to have his podcast pulled because he becomes a martyr for the alt-right.”

A spokesperson for Spotify said: “I’m afraid Spotify won’t be commenting on this.”