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Conspiracy theorist and radio talk show host Alex Jones speaks during a rally in support of Donald Trump near the Republican National Convention, July 18, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Apple has clarified its position on Alex Jones
After removing the Infowars podcast from iTunes over the weekend, Apple said on Wednesday that the Infowars mobile app can stay in the App Store because it hasn’t violated guidelines. The story was first reported by Buzzfeed News.
Here is the full statement to CNBC:
“We strongly support all points of view being represented on the App Store, as long as the apps are respectful to users with differing opinions, and follow our clear guidelines, ensuring the App Store is a safe marketplace for all. We continue to monitor apps for violations of our guidelines and if we find content that violates our guidelines and is harmful to users we will remove those apps from the store as we have done previously.”
Apple’s distinction between the app and the podcast is that Infowars content in the app is more ephemeral — videos go away after they’re broadcast. The podcasts were taken down because episodes were always searchable. Apple will continue to monitor content in the app for anything that violates its policies.
Following the takedown of a number of Infowars programs from iTunes on Sunday, the Infowars iPhone app, which hosts some of the same content, shot up the App Store charts from below the top 10 to number three in the news category. In removing the content from iTunes, Apple said it “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.”
Infowars has been a hot topic of debate on social media. Apple along with Facebook and YouTube removed podcasts, videos and pages posted by Alex Jones, as those companies stepped up their effort to remove content violating their policies. Twitter was criticized for not following suit.