Music streaming service Spotify was criticized on Monday after news emerged the site’s podcasting service hosts content from Alex Jones.
The InfoWars conspiracist known for doubting the Sandy Hook massacre and speculating about child slave colonies on Mars has become a lightning rod as critics increasingly demand that social media companies remove his content from its platforms.
Spotify users looking to listen to InfoWars content have multiple options to choose from, including “War Room,” “RealNews with David Knight, and “Infowars.com Freedom Nuggets.”
The connection between the two was first spotted by Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt, who called the company out publicly on Twitter.
“Infowars is on Spotify,” he said. “It is incredibly difficult to get podcasts hosted on Spotify.”
Infowars is on Spotify.
It is incredibly difficult to get podcasts hosted on Spotify. pic.twitter.com/0ZBclLmXiw
— Jared Holt (@jaredlholt) July 30, 2018
Spotify did not respond to requests for comment from TheWrap on Tuesday morning in response to the matter, but the issue was immediately taken up by Jones’ liberal critics, including Sleeping Giants, which has targeted advertisers on right-wing websites.
“If @Spotify is hosting this material, they are absolutely responsible for the spread and amplification of these messages,” the account warned — tagging the company in a shot across the bow.
Sorry, are you calling harassment of Sandy Hook parents and threatening the life of a government employee “political speech”?
If @Spotify is hosting this material, they are absolutely responsible for the spread and amplification of these messages.
Try again. https://t.co/DTJIM2da0z
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) July 30, 2018
It went from there.
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 31, 2018
— Jennifer Lorenz (@JenniferLoTX) July 31, 2018
Spotify is now hosting InfoWars on their platform, even as Facebook & others are giving them suspensions…
— William LeGate (@williamlegate) July 30, 2018
Once dismissed, Jones rocketed to public prominence with the rise of Donald Trump. He granted an interview to Jones while a presidential candidate in 2015. InfoWars was even briefly given press credentials after Trump became president.
With an audience in the millions, critics have stepped up efforts in recent months to pressure sites like YouTube and Facebook to ban Jones — a move the companies had resisted. Last week, however, both websites began to take action. YouTube deleted four InfoWars video and slapped the company with a community standards violation. Around the same time, Jones’ personal Facebook profile was suspended for 30 days.