The move comes days after Spotify found itself taking heat for continuing to host Alex Jones‘ various podcasts in the wake of the conspiracy theorist’s content being suspended on Facebook and YouTube. As I wrote about in yesterday’s Insider, the music streaming platform ultimately opted to remove only specific episodes from the conspiracy theory’s media operation that clearly violated its Hateful Content policy. Jones’ podcasts nonetheless remain on the platform, a decision criticized by some as being a pointless compromise.
In contrast, Stitcher‘s decision involves wholesale removal of Jones’ podcasts from its platform.
Meanwhile, Pocket Casts, the podcast app recently acquired by a consortium of public radio organizations, responded to a call for the suspension of Jones’ podcasts from its platform over Twitter with the following rationale:
l imagine many other third-party podcast apps that rely on Apple Podcasts (nee iTunes) for content policing and inventory sourcing are likely to invoke the same position, should they find themselves under pressure. Which suggests that Apple Podcasts may well end up having to take a stance on the issue — as well they should, I’d add.
It’s worth noting that Stitcher’s official decision came amid an on-going pressure campaign from something called Sleeping Giants, a social media-based activist organization that focuses on incurring financial pressure on news outlets and media companies that “promote bigotry, sexism, and racism.”
But I suspect the Stitcher team was already tracking the issue well before the Twitter complaint was made.