Apple removes conspiracy theorist’s podcasts from iTunes for violating hate speech guidelines
Most of US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones's podcasts from his right-wing media platform Infowars have been removed from Apple's iTunes and podcast apps, the media news website BuzzFeed quoted a company spokesman as saying on Sunday.
The move by Apple is the most sweeping of a recent crackdown on Jones's programmes by Facebook and other online sites that have suspended or removed some of his conspiracy-driven content.
Apple told Buzzfeed that it has removed the entire library for five of Jones's six Infowars podcasts including the shows "War Room" and the daily "The Alex Jones Show".
Only one programme provided by Infowars, "RealNews with David Knight" remained on Apple's platforms on Sunday, according to media accounts.
"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 spokesperson 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."
In other recent actions against Jones, Facebook suspended the radio and Internet host's personal profile for 30 days in late July from Facebook's site for what the company said was bullying and hate speech.
Also, Spotify, a music and podcast streaming company, removed some specific episodes of Jones's programs last week.
"We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community," a spokesperson said late on Sunday. "Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of 'The Alex Jones Show' podcast for violating our hate content policy," the spokesperson said.
Since founding Infowars in 1999, Jones has built a vast audience. Among the theories he has promoted is that the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington were staged by the government.
He has also promoted a theory that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was faked by left-wing forces to promote gun control. The shooting left 26 children and adults dead at a Connecticut elementary school.
Jones is currently being sued in Texas by two Sandy Hook parents, seeking at least $1 million, claiming that they have been the subject of harassment driven by his programs. Neither Jones nor a representative for Infowars were available early on Monday for comment.
(with inputs from HT Correspondent)