This story has been corrected; details appear below the article.
A podcast network that creates content popular among listeners who belong to the white supremacist fan base is leveraging some of the most popular podcast-hosting websites to distribute its shows.
Libsyn is a podcast-hosting platform that syndicates to iHeartRadio, Google Play and Spotify, among others. In a press release posted to Libsyn’s site, it says, “Liberated Syndication (Libsyn) is the world’s leading podcast hosting network and has been providing publishers with distribution and monetization services since 2004.” It also hosts numerous podcasts from “The Right Stuff,” a podcast network founded by white supremacist Michael “Enoch” Peinovich, although the podcasts’ RSS feeds don’t appear to have been fed to the major hosts Libsyn services.
Peinovich was a scheduled speaker at the “Unite the Right” rally in 2017 where white supremacist extremists rallied and one participant plowed his car into counter-protesters, resulting in the death of Heather Heyer. Peinovich also spoke to neo-Nazis at a Richard Spencer rally in Michigan. At the time of a Newsweek report in June, The Right Stuff drew “close to 1.5 million views per month” and appeared to be inspiring new hate groups across America. As then-Newsweek reporter Michael Edison Hayden pointed out, neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin credited the network with bringing “tens of thousands” or perhaps “hundreds of thousands” of men into the alt-right.
The network’s flagship show, hosted by Libsyn, is “The Daily Shoah,” a podcast named after the Holocaust and built upon a foundation on anti-Semitism and vehement racism. Also on Libsyn are similarly extreme right-wing podcasts “Fash the Nation” (“fash” is short for fascism), “Rebel Yell” and “Exodus Americanus.”
In Libsyn’s website terms of service, the site states, “Libsyn does not warrant or endorse and does not assume and will not have any liability or responsibility for Your Content.” However, in the terms of service for the Libsyn app, through which users distribute their shows, it states:
You agree that you will NOT use the Service to: upload, download, post, email, transmit, store or otherwise make available any Content that is unlawful, harassing, threatening, harmful, tortuous, defamatory, libelous, abusive, violent, obscene, vulgar, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or otherwise objectionable.
Using a form available on the Libsyn website, Right Wing Watch has contacted the hosting company for comment but did not receive a response.
Spreaker is another widely used podcast-hosting service that carries some of the other podcasts on The Right Stuff network, including “The Poz Button,” “Third Rail,” “Tales from the Trough” and “The Convict Report.” It used to host Exodus Americanus before that podcast moved to Libsyn. Spreaker also syndicates to major platforms like Spotify, Amazon, Google, podcast apps Stitcher, and TuneIn.
Spreaker’s terms of service also state that “users are responsible for their own content and that of third parties that they share through Spreaker, that they create, deliver and post on or through Spreaker,” but also states that users are subject to possible account termination if they “publish any content that promotes, either directly or indirectly, hate, racism, discrimination, pornography, violence.” Right Wing Watch has contacted Spreaker for comment via its email-based support line and will update if we receive a response.
Some podcast tools, including ZenCast, an Australia-based company (not to be confused with the U.S.-based Zencastr recording service) provide RSS feed services that other podcasts from The Right Stuff use. “The Paranormies” uses ZenCast for its RSS feed, perhaps because of its relatively unrestrictive terms of service, which only prohibit illegal activity or “engaging in activities harmful to the operations of ZenCast or ZenCast’s customers.”
Other podcasts hosted by The Right Stuff, including one called “Love Street,” are only accessible via direct download.
Podcast networks like Libsyn, Spreaker, and ZenCast act as a gateway for the alt-right into mainstream podcasting apps and websites. To date, these platforms host these podcasts despite the fact that they clearly violate their published terms of service.
The full show list, posted on The Right Stuff, is as follows:
CORRECTION: The original version of this story misidentified the hosting service that carries “The Paranormies.” It is the Australia-based ZenCast, not the U.S.-based Zencastr (which is a recording service, not a platform). We sincerely regret the error.