YouTube, Facebook and iTunes drop InfoWars
Apple has removed hundreds of podcasts by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his InfoWars brand from its iTunes and Podcasts apps.
It said in a statement that it “does not tolerate hate speech”.
On Monday, Facebook removed the InfoWars page on its platform for “using hate speech”, and Alex Jones’ channel on YouTube was “terminated”.
In a livestream on Twitter, Mr Jones said InfoWars had become the “most censored” channel on Earth.
Spotify also told the BBC that it had removed The Alex Jones Show from its podcast listings on Monday.
It said in a statement: “We take reports of hate content seriously.
“Due to repeated violations of Spotify’s prohibited content policies, The Alex Jones Show has lost access to the Spotify platform.”
Mr Jones has been widely criticised for repeating conspiracy theories that the 9/11 attacks in New York were staged by the US government.
He has also claimed that many of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre were actors. The parents of two children shot in that attack are suing him for defamation, saying he had made “false, cruel, and dangerous assertions”.
Several right-wing commentators have, however, suggested the tech firms’ ability to block a publisher posed a challenge to the US’ free speech laws.
In addition, Wikileaks referred to the move as being “San Francisco cultural imperialism”.
While Apple did not host the InfoWars podcasts on its own servers, its iTunes and Podcasts apps made the programmes easily accessible to millions of people.
Five of the six InfoWars-related shows are no longer available on iTunes, with all episodes removed.
Apple no longer links to series such as The Alex Jones Podcast and War Room in its apps. However, the Real News series remains on iTunes.
In a statement, Apple told Buzzfeed News: “We have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users.
“We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”
Several other apps and social media platforms have also taken action against InfoWars content.
In July, YouTube removed four videos from Mr Jones’ channel, which has more than 2.4 million followers.
In the deleted videos, Mr Jones criticised Muslim immigrants to Europe and also denounced a transgender cartoon.
YouTube said it had “long-standing policies against child endangerment and hate speech” but InfoWars claimed the the videos had been deleted because they were “critical of liberalism”.
News credit : Bbc