Spotify has a policy regarding Hate Content. In May of 2018, Spotify removed two music artists from the Spotify editorial or algorithmic playlists because Spotify felt that those artists had violated the Hate Conduct policy. Now, Spotify has removed some episodes of The Alex Jones Show podcast.
Variety reported that Spotify had deleted several episodes of the podcast hosted by Alex Jones. He is the founder of InfoWars (which Variety describes as a “conspiracy-theory site”.)
To be clear, Spotify did not remove all episodes of The Alex Jones Show podcast. Variety reported that Spotify “continues to offer dozens of episodes of Jones’ podcast on the service, dating back to at least June 2017.” This situation is similar to that of R. Kelly and XXXTentacion whose music was removed from Spotify owned and operated playlists.
Later, Pitchfork reported that Spotify clarified its Hate Content and Hateful Conduct Policy. According to Pitchfork, at least one of XXXTentacion’s songs had reappeared Spotify’s RapCaviar playlist.
Spotify’s policy update (which was posted by Spotify on June 1, 2018) includes the following: “Spotify does not permit content whose principal purpose is to incite hatred or violence against people because of their race, religion, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. As we’ve done before, we will remove content that violates that standard. We’re not talking about offensive, explicit, or vulgar content – we’re talking about hate speech.”
Rolling Stone reported that Spotify said that Alex Jones was in violation of its policy that bans hate speech. Spotify was quoted as saying: “We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community. Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of The Alex Jones Show podcast for violating our hate content policy.”