Apple and Google haven’t banned Infowars apps, and their downloads are booming

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Infowars Official, the app named after Alex Jones’ controversial radio talk show, has become the fourth most popular news app in the United States that’s currently available in the iOS App Store, according to public rankings. It was the 47th most popular just two days ago.

The free app, which launched in June, streams live shows and written pieces from Jones and other conservative pundits. It also links to the Infowars store where visitors can buy T-shirts and skincare products. An Android version of the app is available in the Google Play Store; there, it jumped from being the 31st most popular news app to the 11th.

The spike in popularity comes after a number of major platforms dropped Infowars this week on the grounds that the show’s conspiracy theories violate community guidelines. Yesterday, Apple pulled five of Jones’ six Infowars-branded podcasts from its Podcasts app. Since then, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and others have all taken steps to remove Jones’ content from their platforms. Previously, the Alex Jones Channel had more than 2.5 million subscribers.

Following these removals, the Infowars app was flooded with five-star reviews championing the idea of free speech, with titles like “Infowars WILL NOT be silenced.”

“When I have to seek out and search for the information and views I want to hear rather than them be available to me from any and all platforms, I know who’s side is corrupt and treasonous,” said one review. “I was 50/50 on the fence about Alax Jones, but now that they have taken away my rights I’m 100% sure infowars has been truth all along.”

Apple initially banned most of Jones’ content from its Podcast platform for violating rules related to hate speech, according to a statement given to BuzzFeed News. Apple’s guidelines for its App Store, meanwhile, have no such written rules concerning hate speech or conspiratorial content, though they do restrict apps with “content that encourages violence.” Previously, Apple rejected an app for Gab, the social network favored by many alt-right groups, on the grounds that it contained pornographic content.

According to Apple’s guidelines page:

We will reject apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, “I’ll know it when I see it.” And we think that you will also know it when you cross it.

The Google Play Store has clear rules regarding hate speech:

We don’t allow apps that promote violence, or incite hatred against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.

Neither Apple nor Google responded to a request for comment.

Comments

"Infowars WILL NOT be silenced"

These delusional tinfoil hats are convinced that they are crusaders of freedom, aren’t they?

The day this barking dog attacked the grieving parents of the sandy hook kids should have been the end of him..

What a pathetic life, Alex Jones.. All your shrieking will not change the fact that you will go down in the trash can of history..

crusaders of freedom

Insofar as "crusaders" give up the fight when the wifi goes out, for the most part. But yeah.

All your shrieking

His own lawyers claimed he was a "performance artist" and that he’s "playing a character". And they’re not wrong. The only people who don’t see it are the ones who are making him rich. Jones is what you’d get if Christian Bale had said he was really Batman, no foolin’, and a bunch of young bearded white guys chose to believe him.

Except worse, because politics.

He’s just a troll profiting from controversy. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even believe the BS he’s peddling. Just lauging all the way to the bank.

Its the #4 news app now. A lot of America is heading for that trash can with him. I wonder where Fox ranks?

Until they remove the apps, they’re accepting any backlash without even achieving a truly meaningful goal. Seems pointless.

"I was 50/50 on the fence about Alax Jones, but now that they have taken away my rights I’m 100% sure infowars has been truth all along."

Riiiiiight. ‘On the fence’. I have a feeling that concern trolling is this guy’s hobby.

Never met anyone on the fence about extremists. People usually have strong opinions in either direction.

What about extremist fence-sitters? Those guys will just not come down on either side of an issue

The blisters are worth it for the sweet sweet fence sitting.

Sound like a new sport:
Extreme Fence-sitting

Whats the point of making a big PR stunt out of banning their content, but not their apps which allows access to the same content? God, I hate hypocrisy!!!

Patience..

Remember infowars wasn’t banned on Youtube either after Apple and Facebook banned it. Eventually a company has to choose to accept backlash and hurt their rep, or ban the app and silence the noise. Silencing all the noise is much more profitable, so it’s obvious what they’ll do.

"When I have to seek out and search for the information and views I want to hear rather than them be available to me from any and all platforms, I know who’s side is corrupt and treasonous,"

Wow, the delusion is real. Seeking out information and views… Such a burden.

Dude’s just flat out admitting he’d rather be a "sheeple".

And a lazy one at that.

Be consistent Apple. Ban the app.

I don’t think they are being inconsistent. The issue is that the ToS/rules for the app store are different than for their Podcast platform. However, I’m sure they could find a valid reason in there somewhere, or just update the App store rules.

Apple has previously banned apps like video games that had Nazi promotional/glorifying references or images in them. Surely they can ban A.J.’s app.

"…the Infowars store where visitors can buy T-shirts and skincare products."

Wait… what?

Tinfoil hurts one’s skin. And if you are to eat gay frog legs you may as want to be well hydrated.

With soy based products too boot.

Great for fighting globalist reptilian pedophiles too.

Dude, Alex Jones sells everything. He’s really been successful with junk science supplements too.

Look up the John Oliver episode on this, it’s fantastic.

View All Comments
Back to top ↑