Apple has dropped episodes of a controversial podcast run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, following similar bans by Spotify, Facebook and YouTube.
In a statement to BuzzFeed, Apple confirmed it had also removed Jones' podcast for violating its guidelines on hate speech.
Those have been pulled from the iTunes 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", an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch.
The more sweeping action taken by Apple shows how companies have responded differently to the task of regulating false information and hate speech while remaining a neutral platform.
Facebook has removed the following InfoWars pages from their platform: the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the Infowars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page.
Despite the fact that Apple does not host any podcasts directly, its library - which links to independent services across the world, including the likes of SoundCloud - is seen as crucial in the podcasting industry as it drives more traffic than any other single platform. Spotify last week removed parts of Jones' podcast that contained hate speech, Facebook has suspended him from posting and YouTube recently deleted four of his videos.
Spotify, which is the second-largest platform, said in a statement last week that it had removed "specific episodes. for violating our hate content policy". It has suggested that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, and that the September 11 terrorist attacks were an inside job orchestrated by the U.S. government. The free app, released in July 2018, provides the ability to live-stream Infowars shows including Real News, The Alex Jones Show and War Room and access articles.
Jones is being sued by parents of the Sandy Hook school shooting for claiming that the attack was a hoax.
It's unclear exactly how many episodes were ditched, although the vast majority of content created by Jones remains available to Spotify users.
The move followed a severe backlash on social media that saw Spotify subscribers threaten to ditch their accounts after the streaming service continued to host Jones" "Infowars' podcast despite blocks from other services.
'Alex Jones has been responsible for harassing parents of Sandy Hook children, Vegas shooting victims and threatening to kill the Special Counsel.
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