Almost all of the podcasts from Alex Jones, the media personality known for his right-wing Infowars platform and conspiracy theories, have been blocked from Apple’s iTunes Store. Apple is citing hate speech as the reason, just like Facebook, YouTube and Spotify when those platforms blocked his content. Apple told Buzzfeed,
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. 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.
I’m with Andrew Orr on this one: Apple made the right move on this one. Regardless of political views, actively engaging in hate speech is wrong, and when you’re in Jones’ position can entice others into doing the same—or even into taking physical action against other people. And saying Apple, Facebook, or any other company that refuses to host or link to Jones’s content is violating his First Amendment rights is flat-out wrong; the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from curtailing what you can say, not what companies allow on their online services.
Check It Out: Apple Bans Alex Jones Infowars Podcasts from iTunes Store
2 thoughts on “Apple Bans Alex Jones Infowars Podcasts from iTunes Store”
I agree with MacHeritage. The idea of hate speech is way too broad. It is like the war on ‘terror’. Since terror is not specifically defined the term can be applied to anyone one disagrees with. Had this existed during Prohibition surely those selling alcohol could have been branded as terrorists by an over zealous Bureau of Prohibition. As for Alex Jones specifically he will end up discrediting himself given enough time. The definition of hate is so easy to expand to include those who say things you disagree with. You don’t have to explain why the ‘offending party’ is wrong just accuse them of hate speech. One example of this type of censorship was the treatment of pacifists during WWI and WWII. If you disagreed with the war you could be treated as a ‘traitor’. Is this not the equivalent of shouting down a speaker typically at a college campus because you disagree with their beliefs. Truth should be able to stand on its own. As the saying goes, Truth is the first casualty of war. ‘Hate’ speech has become a perfect example of the practice of silencing those you disagree with not because they are calling for violence towards others but because you do not like what they are saying.
Banning all of InfoWars and all their channels in 12 hours from all those services? That is called collusion. If the fuel companies did that at the pump you would call that a good thing? I don’t think so. Alex hasn’t done anything different or changed his tune since he started decades ago, so why now? I don’t think you realized what just happened Jeff. This isn’t about Alex Jones or InfoWars. This is a huge test case with millions of subscribers involved across all social and video media.
YouTube has even suspended anyone that has posted videos from InfoWars that have nothing “hateful” on them (many channels are now gone just because they had InfoWars videos on their own channel). This is very, very bad news for everyone worldwide, regardless of what you think of Alex or InfoWars.
Apple left the InfoWars app up on iTunes that has the same content as the podcasts they delisted. Hate Speech? Yeah right…. They would have taken it all down years ago if it was for that reason. Apple is part of the collusion now. Simple as that.