Apple is removing right wing conspiracy troll Alex Jones’ InfoWars podcasts.
BuzzFeed reports that the first trillion-dollar company has pulled the libraries for five of six InfoWars podcasts from its iTunes and Podcast apps. According to BuzzFeed:
Apple’s decision to remove all episodes of Jones’ popular show — rather than just specific offending episodes — is one of the largest enforcement actions intended to curb conspiratorial news content by a technology company to date. Apple did not host Jones’s shows, but it offered an index that allowed anyone with an iPhone to find and subscribe to them. Though Apple is far from Jones and Infowars’ only distribution platform, the decision to pull Jones’ content will considerably limit the outlet’s audio reach — as of 2018, Apple’s Podcasts platform amassed 50 billion all-time downloads and streams.
In a statement Sunday evening to BuzzFeed News, Apple confirmed that it notified Jones of the decision to remove the five shows under its hate speech guidelines earlier this weekend. “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,” a company spokesperson said. “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.”
Other technology companies had already taken action against Jones and InfoWars over hateful content. Facebook and YouTube have yanked four of his videos, and Facebook suspended his account for 30 days. Spotify and Stitcher have also pulled some content from InfoWars.
Apple had been pressured by activists over Jones. Following the move to remove InfoWars content, it drew praise.
“While companies like Facebook, YouTube and Spotify have been twisting themselves into pretzels inventing ways to avoid having to enforce their own Terms Of Service on Alex Jones, it’s great to hear that Apple, whose reach is so broad, is willing to do it,” a spokesperson for Sleeping Giants wrote to BuzzFeed.