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Spotify under fire for not removing all Alex Jones podcasts

Sandy Hook families sue Alex Jones
Sandy Hook families sue conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for defamation 02:59

Spotify deleted several episodes of the podcast hosted by right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, but some consumers say that doesn't go far enough. 

Some consumers are threatening to cancel their Spotify accounts or say they won't consider renewing their already canceled account until the service pulls all content hosted by Alex Jones. Spotify didn't immediately return a request for comment. 

The pressure indicates that the backlash against Spotify and other services that carry Alex Jones' content isn't over yet. Spotify earlier this week said it removed specific episodes that were determined by the service to include hate speech, but dozens of episodes remain on the service, including one posted on August 2. 

"@Spotify just deleted you from my phone," one consumer wrote on Twitter. "You had the chance to do the right thing and failed miserably. Lmk when you get your morals back and I'll happily reinstate."

Facebook last week suspended Alex Jones' personal page and removed four of his videos, while YouTube removed four of his videos for violating the site's community guidelines.

Earlier this week, Jones said that Spotify's decision was what he expected. "I was born in censorship. I was born being suppressed," he said. 

Spotify created a new policy about hate content in June, saying that its previous policy was "too vague." 

"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," the company said in its statement. 

But that doesn't include offensive, explicit or vulgar content, Spotify added.

Spotify, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange as SPOT, ended the second quarter with 180 million monthly active users, and 83 million customers who pay the service for music access. It said it expects its premium customer base to increase by as much as 43 percent in the current quarter compared with a year ago. 

While it's unclear whether the consumers threatening to cancel their accounts will have much of an impact on Spotify, the battle highlights growing concerns over the influence of apps and social-media services on society. Viral conspiracy theories, manipulation by governments and individuals and fake accounts are among the issues plaguing services like Facebook, Twitter and others. 

Several families from the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre are suing Jones for defamation over his claims that the school shooting was a hoax. The lawsuit was heard this week in Texas, with Jones' attorney arguing that his clients' assertions are protected by free speech. 

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