After being removed from Spotify less than a week ago and having several of his videos removed from YouTube, Alex Jones and his Infowars podcast family will no longer be found on iTunes, and Facebook has begun the process of removing his pages as well. Of the six shows that fall under the Infowars umbrella, only RealNews with David Knight can be found on the iTunes store. His remaining programming, which includes his flagship podcasts The Alex Jones Show and War Room have now lost major distribution venues, leaving the fate of the productions beyond the near future as unknown.
Jones has built his brand on sensationalism and pandering to the ultra-conservative right with conspiracy theories, some of which have landed him in legal trouble. In his most recent case, which involves a far-right conspiracy theory, he stated on numerous occasions that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged for political gain, and he may very well wind up having to pay damages to the families who lost someone in the massacre, according to the Texas Observer. Jones’ legal defense has hinged on his attorney trying to convince the jury that Jones does not report actual news and that no one takes him seriously as he is just an entertainer. Thus far, the strategy is not performing well.
Facebook, Apple and Spotify ban Infowars' Alex Jones | Technology | The Guardian https://t.co/BkqHx6nM5r
— toomas hendrik ilves (@IlvesToomas) August 6, 2018
As the trial has progressed, however, one platform after another has begun taking steps to disassociate themselves from Jones. First YouTube removed a few of his videos that they deemed violated their ToS. Facebook took down one of his pages then followed with posts found on others before taking a more wholesale approach to the process of removing his content. The Hill reported that Facebook cited their reason for removal of his content as being due to “repeated violations of the platform’s content policies.” Then, as The Washington Post reported, Apple’s iTunes store has virtually wiped out all episodes of his show from its app for violations of their hate speech policy.
Facebook has permanently BANNED Infowars.
For unspecified "hate speech". They didn't even tell us what the offending posts were.
This sets a chilling precedent for free speech.
To all other conservative news outlets – you are next.
The great censorship purge has truly begun. pic.twitter.com/v7Yo9hI0q3
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) August 6, 2018
Gizmodo reported that Jones was making around $18 million annually in advertising from his podcasts, meaning that this round of removals will most likely damage his bottom line significantly. In a public statement, Apple provided their position for removing Jones’ shows amid limited social media criticism that they were effectively putting him out of business as a part of a conspiracy against him. Alex Jones has not commented about the moves via Twitter or anywhere else.
“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.”