Spotify Under Fire For Sticking With Alex Jones
Radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been getting kicked off various social media outlets, one after the other. Jones hosts “The Alex Jones Show,” which airs on the Genesis Communications Network, and runs the website Infowars.com, which focuses on conspiracy theories and fake news.
“Earlier this month, Facebook faced pressure of its own to explain why Infowars, a site known for promoting conspiracy theories, remains on the social network even as it cracks down on the spread of fabricated news.
And Jones last week had four videos removed by YouTube from his channel on the video sharing site, with YouTube saying the channel violated the company’s graphic content policy and suspended Jones from broadcasting live for 90 days,” USA Today reported.
Now Spotify is trying to explain why it’s still hosting Jones’ radio show. Twitter isn’t pleased.
“A deluge of commenters began hitting Twitter Monday morning, calling for the music streaming service to remove Jones’ radio show from its offerings,” USA Today reported.
Spotify removed one of Jones’s podcasts for “hate content”, then removed all of them, then left three up, according to The Guardian.
Some point out the hypocrisy of Spotify keeping Jones, even after he said the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting never happened and instead was a performance by child actors. The same Spotify that punished musicians R. Kelly and rapper XXXTentacion for “hate content” or “hateful conduct” by temporarily removing their music from its playlists.
“Back in May, Spotify, as part of its Hate Content and Hateful Conduct policy, removed music from R. Kelly and rapper XXXTentacion from its playlists, a move reflecting the concerns raised by the #MeToo movement,” USA Today reported. Less than a month later Spotify, reversed its decision on the playlist bans.
As of now, Jones remains on Spotify even though he has been banned from many social media platforms.
“So far, social media sites have avoided limiting content except in the most extreme cases, because it is difficult to draw lines of acceptability that don’t produce more controversy themselves. Their decision likely included weighing the effects of the objections that would erupt if they did ban Jones against what might happen to their brands if they didn’t,” the Conversation reported.
But if they do, the questions remain: will they do a good job and how will this affect free speech? Is it better for the free speech rights of all to let Jones be heard, or should his voice of hate be silenced?