Jones, a conservative radio host and conspiracy theorist, has called the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, an elaborate hoax and is being sued for defamation by the parents of one of the 20 children who were killed in the attack. He has also been accused of engaging in hate speech.
In a statement to BuzzFeed, Apple explained why the podcasts were pulled:
“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. 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.”
Apple’s move comes on the heels of actions taken by other sites to rein in Jones. Last week, Spotify removed some of Jones’ Infowars podcasts, saying they contained hate speech. Last month, Facebook suspended Jones from posting on the social media website for 30 days, citing violations of its policies. And YouTube recently took down four videos from Jones’ channel, saying they violated its policies on hate speech and child endangerment.
Apple’s decision to remove all of Alex Jones’ podcasts is the broadest action taken against him online.
Reaction to the news ran from one extreme to the other: