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Apple Deals Final Tech Blow to Alex Jones and Infowars

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In its latest and most decisive move against the controversial commentator, Apple has removed Alex Jones’ Infowars from its app store.

According to CBS News, the right-wing conspiracy theorist’s official application was the third-highest ranked news app available in the app store on Thursday, one day before it was deleted.

Apple indicated that the decision was permanent, citing its own user guidelines in a statement to BuzzFeed explaining the reason.

The app store’s review guidelines ban any content it considers “offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust, or in exceptionally poor taste.”

More specifically, Apple lists an array of abusive behavior that can result in an app’s deletion from the store.

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The guidelines prohibit “defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content, including references or commentary about religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, national/ethnic origin, or other targeted groups, particularly if the app is likely to humiliate, intimidate, or place a targeted individual or group in harm’s way.”

Friday’s decision was the latest in a series of moves by tech giants to strip Jones’ influence from their platforms.

Last month, Apple removed a large number of Infowars broadcasts due to violations of its terms of service.

“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,” the company said at the time. “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.”

Did Apple make the right decision?

YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, iTunes and Twitter have similarly removed accounts linked to Jones and Infowars.

The latest of those decisions came earlier this week. Twitter, which previously held that Jones had not violated its terms, opted to permanently ban him in response to a video he uploaded Wednesday.

‘We’re going to hold Jones to the same standard we hold to every account, not taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories,” said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last month as many other tech companies took action against Jones.

The most recent post, however, represented a violation of the company’s policy against “abusive behavior” and warranted a permanent ban, the company said.

Jones was on Capitol Hill this week when he caused a stir during an interaction with Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

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While peppering the senator with insults including “little frat boy” and “gangster thug,” Jones complained about the censorship he has experienced at the hands of big tech companies.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Birthplace
Virginia
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Education
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Location
Arizona
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment




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