Apple has pulled several podcasts affiliated with controversial conspiracy theory site Infowars, which is headed by Alex Jones, from its iTunes and Podcasts platforms.
The Cupertino tech giant said that the removal of Infowars from its apps was due to violations of its content guidelines. While first spotted by users on Twitter, Apple later confirmed the move in a statement to media organizations.
“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,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.
“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,” the statement continued.
While Apple is following in the footsteps of other content bans levied by Spotify and Stitcher, the Cupertino company’s actions are wider ranging. Rather than pulling select episodes, Apple has removed all episodes for five of the six podcasts published by Infowars on its platforms.
That includes “The Alex Jones Show” and “War Room.” Of those six Infowars-produced podcasts, only one remains on Apple’s platform as of Monday morning: “RealNews with David Knight.”
Apple’s move also echoes similar actions taken by tech giants like Facebook and Google over the past few days. Facebook removed four pages controlled by Infowars on Monday, while Google pulled the “Alex Jones Channel” from YouTube, CNBC reported.
Jones is currently in the midst of a defamation lawsuit by parents of children killed during the Sandy Hook mass shooting in 2012. On his various podcasts, Jones had called the 2012 massacre a hoax or a staged event.
The spreading of false information concerning Sandy Hook has resulted in some of the families of the deceased to be faced with online harassment and death threats, TechCrunch reported.