Spotify Faces Backlash Over Alex Jones Appearance

He was a guest on Joe Rogan's podcast
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2020 4:02 AM CDT
Spotify Faces Backlash Over Alex Jones Appearance
-In this Sept. 5, 2018 photo, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones speaks outside of the Dirksen building of Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Alex Jones has been banned from Spotify and other major tech platforms—but the conspiracy theorist could still be heard on Joe Rogan's Spotify podcast Tuesday. The libertarian host uploaded a three-hour interview with Jones, causing a backlash from listeners who said Jones was spreading misinformation about vaccines and other issues, reports the Los Angeles Times. The Guardian notes that Jones "appeared to be delighted" to be back on a mainstream outlet and told Rogan: "You got a huge audience, we can really change the world right now." Spotify signed a deal believed to be worth around $100 million this year to host The Joe Rogan Experience, though the Swedish company declined to host previous episodes with Jones and other controversial figures.

Jones was banned from numerous platforms after claiming that the Sandy Hook mass shooting was a hoax. "Congrats on paying 100 million dollars for the privilege of platforming a man who terrorized Sandy Hook parents," tweeted the Sleeping Giants campaign group. "This isn't edgy, it's disgusting." In an internal email seen by BuzzFeed, Spotify chief legal officer Horacio Gutierrez gave managers "talking points" around defending the Jones interview. "Spotify has always been a place for creative expressions," he wrote. "It’s important to have diverse voices and points of view on our platform." He added: "We are not going to ban specific individuals from being guests on other people’s shows, as the episode/show complies with our content policies." (More Spotify stories.)

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