The streaming platform Roku, best known for making boxes that help customers play streaming services on their TVs, was found early on Tuesday to have approved and added a channel for InfoWars, the media outlet run by notorious conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. But by day’s end, the channel had been dropped by Roku.
The episode came after several major technology platforms, including Apple, YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, and Twitter, cut ties with Jones and InfoWars last year. Jones was ordered earlier this month, per the Hartford Courant, to turn over documents in a case in which he’s been sued by a group of families of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre. Jones has alleged in the years since that the massacre itself was a hoax, a charge he has also attached to various other tragedies and calamities.
Digiday was first to report Tuesday that an InfoWars channel had been added to Roku’s roster of channels. The company told that publication in a statement that “while the vast majority of all streaming on our platform is mainstream entertainment, voices on all sides of an issue or cause are free to operate a channel. We do not curate or censor based on viewpoint.” The company added that it had no formal business relationship with InfoWars.
According to The Daily Beast, Roku had reversed itself by the end of the day.
“After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform,” the company said on Twitter. “Deletion from the channel store and platform has begun and will be completed shortly.”
After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform. Deletion from the channel store and platform has begun and will be completed shortly.
— Roku (@Roku) January 16, 2019
Following the various banishments, InfoWars continues to operate its website, which hosts all of the network’s articles and videos, under a heading that calls them all “latest banned videos.” The site does not, as of late Tuesday night, contain any reference to the dropping from Roku, and Jones’ outfit did not respond to the Beast’s requests for comment on the matter.
Roku has hundreds of channels on its platform, to which owners of Roku boxes or TVs with built-in Roku functionality can download and delete at their own discretion. Netflix is the most-watched channel, per Roku’s own rankings, followed by YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Sling Television, Spectrum TV, DirecTV Now, The Roku Channel, and Pandora. A search of that channel site for InfoWars now returns zero results.