Apple removes Alex Jones podcasts from iTunes for hate speechAugust 6, 2018
Apple has removed a number of podcasts created by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his InfoWars site from the Podcasts app and iTunes store. The decision to remove the content comes as Facebook also censures Jones, un-publishing four of the radio host’s pages this morning for violating the social network’s rules against hate speech.
Apple says the removal of Jones’ podcasts — which was first reported Sunday night by BuzzFeed News — was due to similar violations.
“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,” said an Apple spokesperson in a press statement. “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.”
Five of the six podcasts published by InfoWars were removed from Apple’s platforms, including “The Alex Jones Show” and “War Room.” (As of this morning, only one remained: “RealNews with David Knight.”) Apple does not host podcasts itself, so the content created by Jones is still available elsewhere. However, the iTunes store and the Podcasts app are the biggest platforms for podcasts, meaning their removal will seriously limit the circulation of Jones’ content.
Apple isn’t the only platform to target Jones’ podcasts. Spotify removed specific episodes of “The Alex Jones Show” last week, citing similar concerns about hate speech. The company said in a statement: “We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community.”
Jones is currently being sued by parents of children killed during the Sandy Hook massacre for claiming that the event was a hoax. Jones has called the 2012 shooting staged for many years, and is demanding that the parents suing him pay his legal feels. With the removal of Jones’ content by Apple and Facebook, the pressure is building on YouTube and Twitter to censure the conspiracy theorist for his damaging rhetoric.