Alex Jones: Spotify takes down Infowars presenter's podcasts for violating 'hate content' policy

Radio host mixes bombastic and fantastical rants with advertising pitches for his line of supplements

Jon Sharman
Thursday 02 August 2018 12:45
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Episodes of Alex Jones' podcast were pulled down following public pressure
Episodes of Alex Jones' podcast were pulled down following public pressure

Alex JonesSpotify content has been stripped from the streaming platform after bosses said it violated their policy on hateful content.

A number of episodes of “The Alex Jones Show” from Infowars were taken down following a backlash on social media, where users questioned why they were being still hosted when other platforms like Facebook and YouTube had cracked down on the conspiracist.

Mr Jones, a far-right agitator who has previously called the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre a hoax and accused grieving parents of being actors – forcing some to move house due to online threats – claimed the move was “what I expect” because “I was born in censorship”.

He is best known for fronting the Infowars website, a hub for conspiracy theories and far-right politics where Mr Jones mixes bombastic and fantastical rants with advertising pitches for his line of supplements. The site has also promoted the so-called “birther” conspiracy which claims Barack Obama was not born in the US.

Episodes of “The Alex Jones Show” remained available for listening on Spotify on Thursday. On weekdays the programme, streamed and syndicated widely elsewhere, is four hours long, while the Sunday version lasts two hours.

In a later video streamed on Periscope, Mr Jones said episodes from 7 August and 5 October last year addressing “Trump going after the deep state” and the Las Vegas shooting, respectively, had been “targeted” by Spotify.

Mr Jones’ Infowars colleague Paul Joseph Watson, a far-right commentator, hit out at the streaming service’s decision. He tweeted: “​Spotify deletes Infowars podcasts for unspecified ‘hate’. Meanwhile, drill rap, the music that is fueling London’s violent crime carnage, is still freely available.”

Spotify said in 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,” it said.

Mr Jones, who is based in Austin, Texas, now admits the Sandy Hook shooting occurred but has claimed free speech protections in a defamation lawsuit brought by parents of children killed there.

His profile has grown in recent years, mirroring the political rise of Donald Trump. In 2015, while running for president, the billionaire told Mr Jones his reputation was “amazing”.

Last week Facebook removed Mr Jones’ personal page for 30 days, citing “bullying” and “hate speech”, while YouTube pulled down four of his videos.

The video behemoth, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, said the posts violated its standards on child endangerment and hate speech, and banned Mr Jones from streaming for 90 days.

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