Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

Spotify privately defends allowing Alex Jones to appear podcast guest

Spotify defends allowing Alex Jones to appear as a guest on Joe Rogan’s podcast, saying it won’t ban conservative voices just because staff and listeners don’t agree with them

  • Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify’s chief legal officer, sent a memo to staff this week 
  • He said the platform would not ban people from being guests on podcasts
  • Jones appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience – Spotify’s highest performing podcast – this week 
  • The pair discussed COVID-19, with Jones undermining vaccines and claiming everyone who takes it will become ill 
  • The Infowars conspiracy theorist also mocked gender identity fluidity by saying he identifies ‘as Jennifer Anniston’ 
  • Many complained, saying Jones shouldn’t have been given a platform 
  • Jones has claimed, among other things, that Sandyhook was a hoax  

Spotify has defended allowing Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to appear as a guest on Joe Rogan’s podcast, saying it won’t censor conservative voices just because some may not agree with them. 

In a memo to staff, Horacio Gutierrez, the company’s chief legal officer and head of global affairs, said that the platform would not ban people from going on others’ shows just because staff may not agree with their views. 

‘Spotify has always been a place for creative expressions. It’s important to have diverse voices and points of view on our platform.

‘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. In closing, we appreciate that not all of you will agree with every piece of content on our platform,. 

Alex Jones (right) appeared on Joe Rogan’s Spotify podcast to the dismay of many listeners who accused the pair of spreading false information. Spotify defended it

‘However, we do expect you to help your teams understand our role as a platform and the care we take in making decisions,’ the memo said. 

Later, CFO Paul Vogel told Yahoo Finance: ‘We have millions of tracks and millions of podcasts and content on the platform. 

‘Some of the content people are going to like, some you’re not going to like. 

‘We have standards and policies in place. And if someone violates our standards and policies, they’ll be removed. 

‘And if not, we’ll continue to have a diverse set of voices on our platform.’ 

It was after Jones appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience which sparked backlash among Spotify’s predominantly left-wing supporters and staff. 

Listeners had already complained about Rogan, another right-wing voice, for claiming among other things in his podcast that the Californian wildfires were started by the radical left. 

Spotify banned Jones from having his own podcast on the platform last year. Among his incendiary  opinions is that the Sandyhook massacre was a hoax. 

Democrats were up in arms about the podcast. They said Spotify was promoting the spread of misinformation 

Listeners complained that he was using Rogan’s Spotify podcast to spread misinformation. 

The episode was temporarily unavailable on Spotify but the streaming service blamed it on a technical glitch. 

Twitter users excitedly assumed Spotify had removed it. It is still available. 

Rogan is paid $100million by Spotify for the podcast. It is its best performing podcast, outranking Michelle Obama’s and every other on the platform.

In April, he claimed he received 190million monthly downloads.

Spotify lured him from Apple with a lucrative, multi-year deal.  

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