A general view of atmosphere during the Amazon Prime Summer Soiree hosted by Erin and Sara Foster held at Sunset Towers on July 16, 2015 in West Hollywood, California.Photo: Getty
Amazon Prime Video, the streaming service you turn to when Netflix doesn't have what you're looking for, is best known for shows like Transparent, The Man In the High Castle, and *checks notes* films claiming the government is run by human-reptile hybrids.
The Telegraph reported that Amazon's video streaming service has started promoting content from conspiracy theorists, including America's favorite supplement salesman Alex Jones and former British sports broadcaster turned professional wackadoo David Icke.
Per The Telegraph, there are more than a half-dozen films, most of which pose as documentaries despite primarily pushing unfounded nonsense, directed by and starring Alex Jones. That includes Police State 2 through Police State 4, though the original is suspiciously missing from the platform. Talk about a conspiracy!
There are another half-dozen or so films available through Amazon Prime Video from Icke. The majority of those pseudo-documentaries deal with aliens and UFOs, though a couple go deep on the conspiracy theory that a shape-shifting race of reptilian people have controlled humanity for thousands of years.
The main beef with Amazon hosting this content (Netflix, which has its fair share of questionable documentaries as well, doesn't host any of the films directed or produced by Jones and Icke) is that the company may profit off of it. The films aren't available for direct purchase or download but are included on the company's streaming platform, which is available to all Amazon Prime subscribers or for $8.99 per month on its own.
The number of people subscribed to Amazon Prime Video specifically to watch Jones, Icke, and their ilk is probably a very small percentage of the more than 100 million people who have access to the service, and Jones himself isn't exactly sending people to the platform. He's in a very one-sided war with Jeff Bezos—a member of the globalist elite running things, in Jones' estimation—which has included going into a Whole Foods and confronting people for some reason and asking Alexa if it is working for the CIA.
But the report still raises some valid questions about what kind of content services like Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu want to promote. In a race to provide the most content imaginable to people, there's sure to be some questionable films scooped up and made available. Slate pointed out last month that Amazon Prime Video also houses a number of anti-vaccine documentaries. Last year, The Ringer highlighted a number of September 11 conspiracy films available across Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.
There's also the looming problem that, in addition to hosting this type of content, the platforms also effectively promote them to users through recommendation algorithms. Watch one conspiracy film, even on a lark, and others like it will start populating the feed. It's the same problem that has plagued YouTube—one so bad that a former Google employee said his algorithm "recommended Alex Jones' videos more than 15,000,000,000 times" to "some of the most vulnerable people in the nation."
Companies like Amazon, Netflix, Google, and Hulu will have to make a call eventually: Do they want to play host to videos from the fringe that are available without any fact check or perspective, or is it worth removing the content at the risk of pissing off the conspiracy-minded and free speech absolutists? The answer will probably be whichever option fucks up their money pits the least.