Apple removes Alex Jones content from iTunes, podcast platforms

Geraldine Edwards
August 7, 2018

Many of these products are snake oil supplements and doomsday prep items that Jones has a personal financial stake in.

YouTube completely removed The Alex Jones Channel and the Infowars Interviews Monday afternoon after the page received multiple strikes for violating the company's community standards.

While Apple did not host the podcasts, iTunes provided an index to where the episodes could be downloaded.

Neither Jones nor a representative for InfoWars were available early on Monday for comment. Spotify has also started removing InfoWars material from its platform. "What conservative news outlet will be next?"

Jones is well-known for his conspiracy theories about major historical events like September 11th, and for often random assertions, like his belief that Jews have in the past dressed up as Nazis in order to exaggerate the size of the extremist far-right.

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This is the first time a blanket ban has been imposed on Jones, who is now being sued by parents of children murdered in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting for claims that the attack was a hoax.

It's unclear why the companies are cracking down on Jones now, after allowing him to publish for years. YouTube and Facebook had previously deleted individual Jones/InfoWars videos in the past, but never came close to banning the Jones/InfoWars pages and channels full-stop until now.

The pages were taken down for "glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanising language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants". Former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage tweeted that Jones was "the victim today of collusion by the big tech giants".

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.

iTunes was not the only way Jones distributed his podcasts, but BuzzFeed reported that Apple's platform is the largest podcast index on the Internet.

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It's unclear exactly how many episodes were ditched, although the vast majority of content created by Jones remains available to Spotify users.

"This account has been terminated for violating YouTube's Community Guidelines".

Jones says his shows, which are broadcast on radio, YouTube and other platforms reach upwards of 70 million people per week. But a YouTube spokesperson told CNN that "When users violate ... policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts". But the company did not give specifics on Jones or Infowars.

He now admits the shooting occurred but says his claims were free speech.

Apple confirmed the accuracy of its statement to CNN. The company also called Jones a "repeat offender".

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