“Apple Inc said on Friday that it had banned from its App Store the Infowars app belonging to popular U.S. conspiracy theorist Alex Jones after finding that it had violated the company’s rules against ‘objectionable content,'” Dan Whitcomb reports for Reuters. “Apple said the guidelines Jones violated bar ‘defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content, including references or commentary about religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, national/ethnic origin, or other targeted groups, particularly if the app is likely to humiliate, intimidate, or place a targeted individual or group in harm’s way.'”
“On Thursday, Twitter Inc permanently banned Jones and his website from its platform and Periscope, saying in a tweet that the accounts had violated its behavior policies,” Whitcomb reports. “In a video posted on the Infowars website on Thursday, Jones said in response: ‘I was taken down not because we lied but because we tell the truth and because we were popular.'”
“Last month, Twitter banned Jones and Infowars for seven days, citing tweets that it said violated the company’s rules against abusive behavior, which state that a user may not engage in targeted harassment of someone or incite other people to do so,” Whitcomb reports. “Apple said at the time that the Infowars app remained in its store because it had not been found to be in violation of any content policies, although it had removed access to some podcasts by Jones.”
“The podcasts differ from the Infowars app by allowing access to an extensive list of previous episodes, subjecting all of those past episodes to Apple’s content rules,” Whitcomb reports. “The Infowars app contains only rebroadcasts of the current day’s episodes, subjecting a much smaller set of content to the rules. Apple said it regularly monitors all apps for content violations.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: You knew that was coming, too.
U.S. Senator Warner: Tech regulation is coming, ‘the era of the wild west in social media is coming to an end’ – September 7, 2018
U.S. Justice Department says probing social media companies for stifling ‘free exchange of ideas’ – September 6, 2018
Twitter permanently bans Alex Jones and Infowars accounts – September 6, 2018
White House probes Google after President Trump accuses it of left-wing bias – August 29, 2018
President Trump attacks ‘left-wing’ Google search results – August 28, 2018
President Trump: ‘I would rather have fake news’ than censorship – August 22, 2018
ACLU: Apple’s ban of Alex Jones and Infowars could set dangerous social media precedent – August 22, 2018
President Trump blasts social media ‘censorship’ – August 18, 2018
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: I ‘fully admit’ our bias is ‘more left-leaning’ – August 20, 2018
Twitter bans Alex Jones from posting on Twitter for seven days – August 15, 2018
Apple is monitoring Alex Jones’ Infowars app for content violations as it becomes 3rd-most downloaded app this week – August 9, 2018
Alex Jones: Infowars has racked up 5.6 million new subscribers in the past 48 hours – August 8, 2018
Tim Cook sends Mark Zuckerberg, YouTube, and Spotify scrambling over Infowars’ Alex Jones – August 8, 2018
Jack Dorsey explains why Twitter isn’t banning Alex Jones and Infowars – August 8, 2018
Infowars’ Alex Jones blasts Apple, Google, others; warns on internet censorship – August 7, 2018
Apple’s ‘Infowars’ move thrusts tech giant into the debate over censoring content on internet platforms – August 6, 2018
Apple removes most of Alex Jones’ Infowars podcasts from iTunes Store – August 6, 2018
Alex Jones’ website also has guidelines for comments. If he enforced his guidelines, even he couldn’t post anything there.
1st amendment rights have nothing to do with the falsely perceived right to spew nonsense in any forum of your choosing. In the private sector, 1st rights can have a short shelf-life depending on content etc. Jones’ rant shows were always a front for his lucrative vitamin/health business. Based on his malicious/abusive conspiratorial claims, Twitter/Apple did the right thing. I just wonder what took them so long given his long history of such errant behavior.
Except the forum is the whole world…
Actually you’re wrong. There is the public accommodation law, which the tech companies are violating.
People should actually know the law before spouting misinformation about the 1st amendment.
I know you have a lack of legal knowledge.
You’re funny Tball, but I suggest you read the case law as it applies to public accommodation and online companies, such as twitter and facebook.
Numerous cases have already been affirmed that the federal public accommodation law applies to public forums.
But great come back, choked full of nothing. Maybe it would help if you read some of the law review articles and case law on the subject. SMH.
I was going to be more polite and just ask for a citation to any “public accommodation law” that forbids private parties from promoting their own viewpoint or requires them to publish viewpoints they find abhorrent. I only know of laws requiring businesses open to the public to refrain from discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or national origin.
I think free speech perspective applies here….Popper’s paradox:
The paradox of tolerance was described by Karl Popper in 1945. The paradox states that if a society is tolerant without limit, their ability to be tolerant will eventually be seized or destroyed by the intolerant. AKA, the Alex Jones fanatics. I think Apple did the right thing.
The left leaning tech sector is clearly afraid of Alex Jones and the other conservative voices they have silenced. This is a clear example of Chinese Censorship coming to America.
It will fail. They, in their luxury bubble, have no idea what they have unleashed upon themselves.
“…afraid of Alex Jones”
I very much doubt that and applaud the wackamole tactics. He and his content serve no discernible use to anyone but the marginal fruitcakes who threaten everyone. It’s as simple as that. No fear, just good old common sense.
Common sense needs to be redefined. It was once a cornerstone of conservative thinking but lately seems to have been thrown under the bus of political expediency.
Everyone should fear a person that has incited terrorist attacks on US military installations with insane conspiracy theories.
Corporations cannot and should not vote on governing the people. We do not live under a corpocracy – or do we now?
It’s 1984 all over again.
Individual state in the US give corporations a charter, a permission, to operate under the stipulation that it operate for the good of society. The state can revoke the charter from an offensive corporation. Why doesn’t Jones’ home state revoke his license to operate his business?
I am not aware of any Texas statute that allows revoking a corporate charter for failure to place the good of society above the desires of the owners. We wouldn’t have many companies left! A charter can only be revoked for nonpayment of taxes or a major criminal offense.
Apple sure is an impressive company, not only do they make requirements very clear, they actually enforce them. What a breath of fresh air.
Bah. Sometimes it takes ’em a precious long time to catch on. You know what, they’re just another big old conglomerate that doesn’t much respect consumer complaints. I’ve bitched at them for this, that, and the other for years and I’m still persona non grata with customer service. Oh, I’m certain it’s my fault: I may have been übershrill, didn’t word my objections gently enough, or too-pointedly questioned their ancestry or mental health. I guess tactics that succeed here in the free-for-all blogosphere tend to fail in the, um, real world.
While I agree with your observations I do have to say that I’ve had some amazing success when dealing with such situations but then again I got some really good advice early on that I’ve found really works. Certainly keeping calm and professional helps, after all you are there to work together on identifying and rectifying a situation.
Yes! Don’t act like an entitled brat and you’ll get much better service from people.
I can’t figure out why it’s admirable and “impressive” for a company to make clear requirements and enforce them but it’s racist and heartless when the US makes clear requirements and laws and then enforces them.
I don’t really comment much on the internal machinations of the U.S. government, that’s their business. The comments that I do consistently make tend to be about the U.S. are focused on the world stage, specifically their torture situation and the invasion of Iraq. They may be legal from the U.S. perspective but in my opinion they are certainly not ethical or morally valid in this day and age.
I’m not a fan of Jones, but if “defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content” can get one banned then Salon, Daily Kos an Huffington should also get banned. The only difference between Jones and them is political alignment.
I think there has to be at least one more difference between Jones and Salon et al. Reading Huffington Post, I might feel titillated, reading Salon I might feel alarmed. Reading Alex Jones I feel physically threatened. Is that because, somehow, I am on the “wrong” side? Jones seems unAmerican to me. In the land of the free, ideas should not be wielded like bludgeons.
I have been dealing with the InfoWars gang from close up and personal for many years. Almost everyone who deals with Jones ends up worried about their physical safety. That is a pretty significant difference from other media figures, whether left or right. It is the threats that are being placed under sanction, not his political stance.
What a conspiratorial comment!
I think that ideas in the political sphere can be likened to balloons in the atmosphere; Neither ideas nor balloons are bludgeons so, wielding them like bludgeons make them into harmless play things.
Human passions, once thought of as demons invading our bodies, and today still recognised as impulses independent of the realm of rational thought, are easily exploited. Anyone, knowing what can ignite such passions, can choose words to provoke specific physiological responses that are precursors of action. If such actions are proscribed by law, those words may constitute incitement which is itself a crime. Words, just as well as sticks and stones, can hurt, and even a child’s balloon can eclipse the sun and moon.
FK Alex Jones. His sick lies have threatened the safety and well-being of the Sandy Hook parents for years.
MOB RULES !!!!!!! All the tech companies are the mob… Yet, the liberals keep posting hate and offensive things. Just go look at Keith Oberman’s tweets.
Literally right above your comment is a reminder of how Alex Jones himself is the perpetuator of mob rule. So fsck Alex Jones and the horse he rode in on.
Censorship = un-American = China
Apple = Big Brother (literally the one from the Apple’s own legendary 1984 ad) 😂😂😂
Tim Cook = Big SJW (social justice warrior) and elitist plus liberal dictator plus pathetic leftist authoritarian.
Americans (& together with them the rest of the world) = slaves&pussies under a sick tech-regime, mainstream media fascists regime & Hollywood marksists regime.
Nobody can communicate without sick artificial rules in a free country anymore??? Your one and only rule of communication on the Internet should be The American Construction – any other barriers are for children and slaves.
Are you children or slaves?
Second thing. If you don’t wanna follow/watch/get Alex Jones – guess what: don’t download his app, don’t read his tweets, ignore reading his comments, don’t subscribe to his channel. It’s easy!
Any other form of banning his content is a form of censorship (China-style).
“Second thing. If you don’t wanna [sic] follow/watch/get Alex Jones – guess what: don’t download his app, don’t read his tweets, ignore reading his comments, don’t subscribe to his channel. It’s easy!”
So Apple should post everything and allow all apps… then no one should go to Apple’s sites or download apps from Apples software stores on the chance that some idiot might be incite people to do some form of harm to others? And, before you respond that it’s not Alex Jones’ responsibility if some nut takes him literally to “remove someone from the conversation”, remember that it has longstanding precedent that such inciting language is unacceptable and illegal in many cases.
That’s like telling an elderly couple to not go to the theater because someone might yell “Fire! Fire!” and they might get trampled in the ensuing rush of people trying to escape. Why not just make yelling “Fire!” in a theater not allowed? Oh, yea… there’s already a long standing doctrine that such an act is unacceptable and in most cases illegal.
Stop fooling yourself. You should already know that Alex was not sentenced by any court in regard of threatening. You see, your “some idiot might be incite people to do some form of harm to others” is a big stretch. On the same token we could say that the CNN should be banned by Apple because their mental diarrhoea in the form of spewing anti-Trump propaganda can make some nut takes them literally and go on the killing spree or just made some bunch of random useful idiots go and beating people with the pro-trump MAGA hats on the streets. Oh – wait! – it’s already happened and still happening.
I don’t know what happened to you, that living in the most free country in the world you want to ban the free speech. Maybe, just maybe you’re just a leftie who stumbling upon such phenomena like language policing, censorship and banning of free speech in the tech industry right now, feels that it is just so comforting, because, for once, it only happens to the conservatives and secondly because you’d prefer that you and everyone else on those platforms to be only tuned in to your own leftist /fake liberal political echo-chamber???
Look, it doesn’t takes a brain to see that this is censorship of conservatism in its biggest spin and – to quote Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction – I want you to fucking acknowledge it! 🙂 You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
‘Objectionable Content’, what that means? That’s CENSORSHIP from Silicon Valley’ PUPPIES, while at same time drop their pants down to China and Putin.
The right has lost any and all moral right to whine about dropping pants down for Putin.
Popper’s Paradox: in order to remain a tolerant society, such a society must be absolutely intolerant of intolerance. Apple and Twitter are doing the right thing.
This is what the proponents of Net Neutrality used to tell me, on these very pages, that I should fear.
What, that the United States Government would be threatening to infringe the freedom of website owners to control their private property without due process or payment of compensation for the taking?
This has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with ‘Net Neutrality!
‘Net Neutrality has to do with content communications companies. It has absolutely nothing to do with content creation sites.
Outside of its own company (solely company LANs and WANs) Apple is not provide communications services. Apple is not an ISP. Apple gets to decide what goes up onto its own site. If you want to put Infowars up on your own site, then go for it.
Popper’s Paradox: a tolerant society must be completely intolerant of intolerance. Failing to do so will result in an intolerant society. I’m glad that Apple is helping to take away Alex Jones’ megaphone.