The fight against fake news and hate speech seems to be happening lately moved to podcasts. Not that the efforts of the gods are failing classics social networks, but it is now clear that the greater diffusion of this type of content corresponds to an increased risk that what is communicated to listeners does not respect the policies of the platforms. This is the case, for example, of the much discussed interventions by Joe Rogan on Spotify in his Joe Rogan Experience, which led several artists to withdraw their catalog in protest.
Today’s case concerns The Alex Jones Show, whose episodes were removed from Spotify after being spotted by a group of moderators. The reason is simple: Alex Jones, founder of the online newspaper Infowars and one of America’s greatest far-right conspiracy theorists, was banned from Spotify in 2018 for hate speech. The same fate has befallen Apple Podcasts, Facebook and YouTube. Several episodes of the podcast were released starting February 20, only to be removed.
The question arises: who uploaded the episodes to Spotify? At the moment there is no answer, considering that the platform allows you to publish the contents independently. The (human) moderators carry out checks, but not everything can be identified in time.
Another curious fact concerns the presence (still) on Spotify of an episode of Joe Rogan Experience coincidentally with Alex Jones as a guest. “Covid is the result of the elites to reorganize society”, “the mask is useless”, “the oral vaccine funded by Bill Gates causes polio”: these are just some of the statements that can be heard in the discussion. Equally curiously, Alex Jones podcasts continue to be available on Google Podcasts. It should be borne in mind, however, that the Mountain View service works differently from the others, acting only as a container that provides links to listening on third-party platforms.