Apple on Wednesday said that the Infowars app will remain on the App Store, but the firm will continue monitoring it for hateful content.
Earlier this week, Apple removed nearly all Infowars and Alex Jones content from its Podcasts and iTunes platforms for hate speech. In the wake of that move, the Infowars app became the third most-downloaded news app in the App Store.
But, until yesterday, the company did not comment on why the Infowars app remained in the App Store when the site’s other content had been removed. But the company clarified its position on Wednesday.
Apple said that the Infowars app did not currently violate its content policies. According to Reuters, that’s likely because it does not contain the full catalog of past episodes like the podcasts did.
“We strongly support all points of view being represented on the App Store, as long as the apps as respectful to users with differing opinions, and follow our clear guidelines, ensuring the App Store is a safe marketplace for all,” Apple told Reuters in a statement.
The Cupertino tech giant noted that it continues to monitor all apps for violations of its guidelines.
Apple’s developer guidelines bar apps from including content that’s “offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust, or in exceptionally poor taste.”
Those guidelines also ban content that is “defamatory, discriminatory” or “mean-spirited” — which includes “references or commentary about religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, national/ethnic origin, or other targeted groups.”
Infowars and Alex Jones are infamous for spreading conspiracy theories. Because of that, major tech companies — Apple included — have recently come under pressure to remove Jones’ content from their platforms.
Facebook removed four pages controlled by Infowars on Monday, while Google took down the primary “Alex Jones” YouTube channel earlier this week. Twitter, for its part, has come under fire for leaving the entirety of Infowars content on its platform.
Jones is currently being sued for defamation by the parents of children killed during the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. On several occasions, the conspiracy theorist had called the mass shooting a “hoax” or “staged event” — leading some families of the deceased to face online harassment or death threats.