- Apple has scrubbed nearly all of Alex Jones’ Infowars podcasts from iTunes and its Podcast app.
- Hours after, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube also shut down the conspiracy theorist.
- In a live Periscope stream on Twitter, Jones said he was being censored by the “San Francisco tech elite.”
Apple, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube have removed the work of Alex Jones from their platforms in a sweeping crackdown on the popular conspiracy theorist.
Apple was first to take action against Jones, with BuzzFeed reporting that it had scrubbed the entire library for five of Infowars’ six podcasts from iTunes and its Podcast app. Within hours, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube followed suit.
Apple pointed Business Insider to the statement it provided BuzzFeed, in which it said it notified Jones of its plans to pull the podcasts under its hate-speech guidelines.
“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,” an Apple representative 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.”
Soon after Apple shut down Jones, Facebook published a blog announcing it had removed four pages belonging to the presenter. Facebook said he had repeatedly posted content in recent days that broke its community standards. The company took down four of Jones’ videos last month.
“We have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic-violence policy, and using dehumanising language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims, and immigrants, which violates our hate-speech policies,” Facebook said on Monday. It added that none of the violations were related to “false news.”
Spotify also removed the “Alex Jones Show” from its podcast directory for violations of its content policy. “I can confirm that Spotify has removed the ‘Alex Jones Show’ – Infowars,” a spokeswoman said. Spotify took down several episodes of the show last week.
YouTube, where Jones had nearly 2.5 million subscribers, was the fourth company to act. His channel was unavailable on Monday.
In a live Periscope stream on Twitter, Jones said he was being censored by the “San Francisco tech elite.”
Sleeping Giants, an activist organisation that vows to “make bigotry and sexism less profitable,” has been lobbying Apple to take action against Jones. Writing on Twitter, it welcomed the company’s decision.
Last week, we asked @Apple how the harassment of Sandy Hook parents and Vegas shooting victims didn’t violate their Terms of Service. Tonight, they decided that it did.
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) August 6, 2018
Jones is facing defamation lawsuits from the families of some children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School over his claims that the 2012 school shooting was a hoax.