And gave him a ‘strike.’
Spotify is facing some online backlash for the music service’s hosting of “The Alex Jones Show,” the radio show featuring the conspiracy theorist and host of far-right site Infowars.
A deluge of commenters began hitting Twitter Monday morning, calling for the music streaming service to remove Jones’ radio show from its offerings.
Spotify is the latest online site to get hit with complaints about Jones. 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.
As word spread that Spotify had begun hosting “The Alex Jones Show” on its service — there’s more than a year’s worth of broadcasts — comments began appearing on Twitter. Many said they would cancel their subscription. Others urged users to protest in Spotify’s idea submissions forum.
One user, who uses the Twitter moniker of Cat the Uncivil, tweeted she contacted Spotify and the service told her if they received 100 users suggesting so, the company would look into the incident.
Neither Spotify nor “The Alex Jones Show” returned requests for comment from USA TODAY.
Many of the commenters on Twitter opposed to Jones’ being on Spotify brought up his comments purporting the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting never happened and instead was performed by child actors. Some families affected by the shooting have sued Jones.
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.
At the time, R. Kelly faced two new accusers alleging the singer committed acts of physical abuse and sexual coercion on themselves or their loved ones. Since then, the singer has released new music in which he admitted to liking younger girls and rough sex in the lyrics, but denied he was a pedophile and pushed back against allegations that he operated a sex cult, as Buzzfeed reported last July.
XXXTentacion was facing charges including the aggravated battery of a pregnant woman; he was shot and killed in June, and four men have been charged in the incident.
Three weeks later, Spotify reversed course on the playlist bans for the actions taken for those artists, saying its policy’s had been too vague and the service “didn’t spend enough time getting input from our own team and key partners before sharing new guidelines,” it said in a policy update posted online. “As we’ve done before, we will remove content that violates that standard. We’re not talking about offensive, explicit, or vulgar content – we’re talking about hate speech.”
Not everyone commenting about the Spotify-Alex Jones hubbub planned to exit. Listeners can decide on their own whether they need Jones and, as for Spotify, “I literally can’t live without it,” posted Anthony Bowling, a defense attorney in Birmingham, Alabama.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.
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