The platform’s tolerance of white supremacist, pro-Nazi and conspiracy theory content pushes the boundaries of the medium. He had already been banned from Twitter, but on his podcast he could give full voice to his hateful conspiracy theories. The podcaster argued that the man in Atlanta who had confessed to killing eight people at massage parlors last week, including six women of Asian descent, was the one who had truly been victimized — the casualty of a supposed Jewish plot. “Your heart goes out to the guy,” he said. The remarks, emblematic of a longstanding online network of white supremacists and pro-Nazi groups, weren’t hidden in some dark corner of the internet, but could be found on Google Podcasts, the search giant’s official podcast app that was released for Android in 2018 and expanded to Apple devices last year. As leading social networks like Facebook and Twitter have taken some steps to limit hate speech, misinformation and incitements to violence in recent months, podcasts — historically fueled by a spirit of good-natured anarchy — stand as one of the last remaining platforms for the de-platformed. After Twitter last November suspended the account of Steve Bannon, the onetime adviser to former President Donald J. Trump, for suggesting that several officials be beheaded, he continued to enjoy large audiences with his podcast, available on both Apple and Google’s services.
But even in the world of podcasting, Google Podcasts — whose app has been downloaded more than 19 million times, according to Apptopia — stands alone among major platforms in its tolerance of hate speech and other extremist content. A recent nonexhaustive search turned up more than two dozen podcasts from white supremacists and pro-Nazi groups, offering a buffet of slurs and conspiracy theories. None of the podcasts appeared on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Google Podcasts is also one of the few remaining homes of Alex Jones, the “Infowars” broadcaster, who was banned in 2018 from Apple, Spotify and Stitcher for repeated violations of their policies on hate speech and harassment. Google, citing its own policies, terminated Mr. Jones’s YouTube account. Last year, it removed the Infowars app from the Google Play store for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus. But Mr. Jones’s programs are still available on Google Podcasts

via nytimes: On Google Podcasts, a Buffet of Hate