Hey @Spotify I have a premium account and usually love your service, but I can’t support you if you support the hate that Alex Jones spews. I’ll join the others in the comments and cancel my subscription if his vitriol and bigotry continues to be hosted on your platform. https://t.co/uEivyB7wTD— Samantha Myhre (@samyhre) July 30, 2018
Spotify is under fire for allowing InfoWars to make its podcasts available on the platform, prompting many users to threaten boycotting the company.
In the past, YouTube was also pressed on why it hosts videos from InfoWars’ head Alex Jones. Despite Jones’ inflammatory allegations in the past regarding “Pizzagate,” the Sandy Hook shooting, and more recently about the Parkland, Florida, shooting survivors, Spotify appears oblivious to the ramifications of allowing Jones to use its site.
Once Right Wing Watch writer Jared Holt tweeted about Jones’ podcasts being on Spotify, the platform’s users started to threaten quitting their subscriptions.
Infowars is on Spotify.— Jared Holt (@jaredlholt) July 30, 2018
It is incredibly difficult to get podcasts hosted on Spotify. pic.twitter.com/0ZBclLmXiw
Hello @Spotify Are you sure about this? I will delete my Premiums Family account if this is your business policy. And I'm not the only one.— Tristan Seith (@SeithTristan) July 30, 2018
Hey @Spotify, I’ve enjoyed your service but I will cancel my Premium subscription if you host @infowars on your platform. Hate speech should not be amplified. This man is free to traffic in his own damaging conspiracies, but he has no credibility and damages your integrity.— Brandon Sheaffer (@BrandoSheaffer) July 30, 2018
Hi @spotify I do not pay my subscription for this hateful nonsense - will you address this? I do not shop with companies that promote hate, Jones' conspiracy rants do not fit with your brand.— Dr Marianne (@noodlemaz) July 30, 2018
I have two and a half weeks before my next billing date @Spotify If Alex Jones is still on your service by that time I will be cancelling my account before hand and taking my buisiness elsewhere.— David Birney (@DavidBirney) July 30, 2018
Even Sleeping Giants, a campaign that targeted companies advertising on Breitbart, got involved. They eventually slammed the company for not preventing Jones’ podcasts from being shared on its site.
Sorry, are you calling harassment of Sandy Hook parents and threatening the life of a government employee “political speech”?— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) July 30, 2018
If @Spotify is hosting this material, they are absolutely responsible for the spread and amplification of these messages.
Try again. https://t.co/DTJIM2da0z
Like other platforms, Spotify is being accused of being soft on Jones.
Long before the music streaming service was targeted by social media users, Facebook suspended Jones’ account. Still, InfoWars and other related pages remain live.
On YouTube, Jones’ account got a “strike” over four videos, getting him closer to being banned from the site. Alas, critics online said they believe that’s not enough.
Perhaps companies are thinking twice before completely removing Jones’ presence from their platforms because conservative critics, such as Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, have questioned social media websites, such as Facebook, for banning Jones.
Cruz himself was the target of the InfoWars' chief, who shared a conspiracy theory about the senator's father being involved with former president John F. Kennedy's murderer.
Am no fan of Jones — among other things he has a habit of repeatedly slandering my Dad by falsely and absurdly accusing him of killing JFK — but who the hell made Facebook the arbiter of political speech? Free speech includes views you disagree with. #1A https://t.co/RC5v4SHaiI— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 28, 2018
If Spotify ignores users’ boycott threat, the platform may lose many subscribers, potentially threatening the company's future as a go-to streaming source.
In the era of President Donald Trump, consumers have quickly realized they have great power at their disposal. It would be wise of Spotify to address the issue immediately and pay attention to its users.