Don't boycott Spotify to get at Infowars and Alex Jones. Just ignore him
PUBLISHED: 14:43 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:44 31 July 2018
There is no such thing as bad attention in the world of Alex Jones, says MIC WRIGHT
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It’s a world of globalist conspiracies, Super Bowl half-time shows that re-enact satanic rituals, Kanye West as an emissary for ‘the bigger plan’, a bomb that turns frogs gay, and inter-dimensional demons that smell of sulphur (and just happen to include President Obama). It’s the world of Alex Jones, the internet shock jock, conspiracy theorist, and creator of Infowars, whose audience of millions across the world has included President Trump.
But while Jones and cohorts at Infowars — including British provocateur and Paul Joseph Watson — can seem too way out to worry about, they have serious online influence and have peddled conspiracies that cause a lot of pain. Most notoriously, Jones suggested that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was faked using ‘crisis actors’ — a hoax perpetrated by the government to allow President Obama to push through tougher gun laws. Jones has subsequently back-tracked on the ‘theory’ but is still being sued by families of children who were among the 27 killed by Adam Lanza.
So it’s not surprising that there was uproar when Jones and Infowars, who was recently handed a 30-day ban from live-streaming on Facebook and a ‘strike’ on YouTube (three strikes will see him banned), popped up on Spotify. Unlike other hosting platforms, Spotify makes an active choice about which podcasts it allows on its service. Subscribers have taken to Twitter in significant numbers threatening to cancel their Spotify Premium accounts unless the Infowars podcast is removed.
I understand that impulse: Jones says utterly disgusting things on a daily basis and has provided a propaganda platform for a litany of awful individuals including defenders of Tommy Robinson — who Jones has said he hopes will front Infowars UK — and Republican dirty tricks master and former Donald Trump advisor, Roger Stone. The problem is that shouting about Jones and Infowars plays into narrative perfectly. Where once Jones and Infowars were squarely a malevolent but fringe concern, they’ve been able to wheedle their way into the mainstream consciousness.
Jones makes his money from selling a range of bizarre products — dietary supplements called things like Brain Force Plus, water filters, and so-called survival foods (138 servings of ‘emergency’ breakfast, anyone?) — and encouraging listeners to buy them because the globalists are close to shutting his operation down. Confected crises are what fuel Jones’ soap opera broadcasts. On an almost weekly basis he blasts out ‘Emergency Broadcasts’ about the impending threat to him as a soldier in the ‘infowar’.
Infowars is like a monster in a story book that feeds entirely on attention. Campaigns to silence it conversely only make it stronger. Jones and his associates are very skilled at finding new channels to disseminate their material and have fostered a large audience of zealots who will buy the products and voraciously consume the broadcasts. Trying to run them off iTunes and Spotify — services that are hardly about to promote Jones despite hosting his broadcast — only strengthens Infowars claim to be subject to censorship.
Sharing Jones’ videos on Facebook to critique them, retweeting his crazed pronouncements on Twitter with your own condemnatory commentary, calling for a boycott of Spotify because his podcast has found a new home there — all of these actions are akin to lifting up the rock and pointing to the bugs squirming in the previously hidden gloom. There is no such thing as bad attention in the world of Alex Jones. His fans laud him while his critics simply draw greater attention to him.
Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson and the entire Infowars roster of dystopian future fulminators are like little boys in nursery school who wet themselves for attention. We’ve got to stop pointing at them and start ignoring them entirely. If they want to live their lives covered in slowly cooling urine, we should let them. Doing anything else just encourages them.
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Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.Become a supporter