Spotify Hosts Infowars Podcasts Despite Clear Rule-Breaking

Infowars host Alex Jones reads from a legal brief at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 10, 2018. (Photo by Jared Holt for Right Wing Watch)

Spotify, the music and podcast streaming service, hosts Infowars content in its podcast section, despite the fact that Infowars host Alex Jones has repeatedly violated the guidelines that Spotify declares on its website. The service began hosting Infowars programming as early as 2015 and carries daily episodes of “The Alex Jones Show.”

In addition, Spotify users can also find Infowars’ “RealNews with David Knight,” “War Room” and a program called “ Freedom Nuggets,” which are one-minute Infowars dispatches formatted to be plugged into other radio programs. As a result, numerous Spotify users have threatened to leave the platform unless Infowars content is removed.

(Screenshots / Spotify)

According to Spotify’s end user agreement with artists who upload content to their platform, Spotify forbids content that “is offensive, abusive, defamatory, pornographic, threatening, or obscene.” Spotify’s rules also say it prohibits content that is “intended to or does harass or bully other users.” By agreeing to use Spotify, users “acknowledge and agree that posting any such User Content may result in immediate termination or suspension of your Spotify account.”

Despite the fact that Jones and his staff have grossly violated Spotify’s rules in public and obvious ways, the streaming platform continues to host Infowars content. On-air conduct by Jones and his staff has prompted lawsuits and provoked suspensions on Facebook and YouTube. Right Wing Watch has reached out to Spotify for comment on its decision to host Infowars content but did not receive a response before publication. We will update this article if Spotify responds to our inquiry.

In the meantime, here are just a few moments in Infowars’ broadcast history, many—if not all—of which have been presumably simulcast on Spotify, and clearly violate Spotify’s stated rules:

  • Offensive Content: Infowars has played host to white nationalist activists, on multiple occasions hosting white supremacists to spread their anti-immigrant agenda.  (July 2018)
  • Offensive Content: Infowars has allowed members of the “Proud Boys,” which the Southern Poverty Law Center has recognized as a hate group, to recruit from the Infowars audience. (July 2018)
  • Offensive Content: Jones and other Infowars hosts routinely make inflammatory and bizarre claims about LGBTQ people. (October, November and December 2017)
  • Offensive Content: YouTube removed four videos from Infowars’ YouTube page. According to The Verge, “Two videos contained hate speech against Muslims, and a third contained hate speech against transgender people, sources said. A fourth showed a child who was pushed to the ground by an adult man.” (July 2018)
  • Threatening Content: Jones recently sparked public outrage when he pantomimed shooting Special Counsel Robert Mueller on video, and said of Mueller on “The Alex Jones Show,” “You’re going to get it, or I’m going to die trying, bitch. Get ready.” (July 2018)
  • Threatening Content: War Room host Owen Shroyer hyped a potential civil war he called “inevitable” if liberals “continue to exist.”(May 2018)
  • Threatening Content: Infowars Washington correspondent Jerome Corsi has challenged numerous federal officials he believes to be part of the “deep state” to physically fight him. (March and April 2018)
  • Threatening Content: Jones declared “open season” on his perceived detractors, calling for the spilling of blood by “patriots and tyrants.” (March 2018)
  • Harassing Content: Jones encouraged Infowars viewers that wanted to “dedicate something to your country” to stake out a restaurant in Virginia that refused White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders service, naming anti-racism groups he baselessly claimed might firebomb or vandalize the restaurant in order to cast blame on their right-wing enemies. (June 2018)
  • Harassing Content: YouTube removed a video posted to Infowars’ page that alleged that Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg and other students who survived the shooting were “crisis actors.” (February 2018) Infowars also released footage falsely depicting Emma Gonzalez as a member of Hitler Youth. (March 2018)
  • Harassing Content: A lawsuit alleges that Jones and other Infowars staff provoked harassment and death threats against Brennan Gilmore, who filmed the car attack that killed Heather Heyer at the violent white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Virginia last year. (March 2018)

These examples are in addition to the numerous vitriolic conspiracy theories that Jones uses his platform to spread daily, not to mention how Infowars has a national reputation for declaring nearly every national tragedy a “false flag” hoax, inflicting emotional distress on the loved ones of people killed in those tragedies.

On air today, Jones expressed his outrage at the fact that numerous news articles have been spawned since we noticed Infowars podcasts on Spotify this morning.

Jones said that Spotify was “one of thousands of places you can find our podcast or us streaming, and so here’s the next attack. ‘We’re all going to drop Spotify if you don’t take Alex Jones off,’ and then they say a bunch of lies about me and then Spotify’s supposed to do it. Don’t the listeners get that this isn’t hype, it’s a war for your First Amendment?”

Infowars podcasts are also hosted on Apple’s iTunes.