Apple has completely removed five of the six podcasts run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Infowars from iTunes and the Podcast app. The decision to remove the content comes as Facebook has also censured Jones by unpublishing four of the radio host’s pages this morning for violating the social network’s rules against hate speech.
Apple spokesperson clearly stated –
“Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users. Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”
Facebook and Google made similar decisions. Facebook removed four pages controlled by him and Google removed the official “Alex Jones Channel” on its platform. Spotify also removed some specific episodes of Jone’s program last week.
Five of the six podcasts published by Infowars was removed from Apple’s platforms – including “The Alex Jones Show” and “War Room.” Apple does not host podcasts itself, so the content created by Jones is still available elsewhere. Facebook’s and YouTube’s enforcement action against Jones came hours after Apple removed Jones from its podcast directory. The timing of Facebook’s announcement was unusual as the company confirmed the ban at 3 am local time.
Publishing platforms have faced strong pressure to take action against Jones and Infowars over the past few months, but Apple was the first major company to sanction the broadcaster, narrowly beating Facebook to the punch. The one major social network to still allow Jones unfettered access is Twitter. In Twitter, the broadcaster has a “verified” account. Some Twitter users began campaigning by tweeting to Jack Dorsey – the Co-founder and Chief executive.
Alex Jones is currently being sued in Texas by two Sandy Hook parents, seeking at least $1 million, claiming that they have been the subject of harassment driven by his programs.