Apple does not plan to remove the Infowars app from the iOS App Store at this time, the company told BuzzFeed News this evening. Apple said that the Infowars app had not violated its App Store guidelines.
"We strongly support all points of view being represented on the App Store, as long as the apps are respectful to users with differing opinions, and follow our clear guidelines, ensuring the App Store is a safe marketplace for all," the company said in a statement.
"We continue to monitor apps for violations of our guidelines and if we find content that violates our guidelines and is harmful to users we will remove those apps from the store as we have done previously."
Apple over the weekend removed the entire libraries of five Infowars podcasts from the Apple Podcasts platform. "War Room" and "The Alex Jones Show," hosted by controversial U.S. radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, were among those pulled from Apple Podcasts.
When removing the Infowars podcast listings from the Podcasts platform, Apple said that it does not tolerate hate speech, finding that the Infowars podcasts did indeed violate its podcast content guidelines.
"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," a company spokesperson said.
"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."
As BuzzFeed points out, the Infowars mobile app available from the App Store allows users to live stream the same programs that were removed from the Apple Podcasts platform. The Infowars mobile app streams video broadcasts rather than making a repository of content available to listeners, however, which may be why the app was not pulled while the podcasts were.
BuzzFeed suggests that since the streaming broadcasts are ephemeral and not stored in the app, that Apple will need to "catch [Jones] in the act and in the moment" to act on a violation.
Apple's App Store guidelines state that apps should not include content that is offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust, or in exceptionally poor taste. Defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content is listed as an example.
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.
Multiple social media platforms have now removed Infowars content from their services, including YouTube, Facebook, and Spotify.
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