7 August 2018Hot off the Press
Facebook, YouTube, Apple and Spotify have blocked content from Infowars, a far-right online media outlet known for disseminating conspiracy theories.
Owned by Alex Jones, Infowars has been widely criticised for promoting hate speech and publishing fake stories.
The new restrictions imposed by the various platforms follow Google’s decision last month to delete four YouTube videos uploaded by Alex Jones onto his channel Infowars due to the intense scrutiny that tech companies are facing for their role in spreading fake news and hate speech.
On Monday (local time), YouTube announced that they were completely banning Alex Jones’ channel, which had two million subscribers, because Mr Jones attempted to sidestep last month’s restrictions.
“When users violate [our] policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts,” the company said.
Apple, Facebook, and Spotify have now followed suit, and also limited or banned Infowars content.
Apple confirmed on Monday that it had removed five out of six Infowars podcasts from iTunes and the podcast app because of hate speech.
“We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions,” Apple said.
Facebook deleted four pages run by Alex Jones and Infowars, and have further blocked Mr Jones for a month for posting hateful and violent content.
The social media platform faced criticism for not banning Infowars after it claimed that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax arranged by anti-gun activists.
“We’ve been banned completely on Facebook, Apple, & Spotify,” Alex Jones tweeted on Monday. “What conservative news outlet will be next?”
BuzzFeed, the first to report on the story, was told by Spotify that it had also removed all episodes of the Alex Jones Show.
The bans are some of the most significant to date, and come ahead of hotly contested US midterm elections in November.
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