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Facebook Deletes Infowars Page, Apple Deletes All Alex Jones Podcasts

Alex Jones speaks at a rally near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2016. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Facebook deleted four pages operated by Infowars founder Alex Jones on Monday, shortly after Apple eliminated all podcasts featuring the notorious conspiracy theorist from both iTunes and its podcast app.

Jones, who regularly communicates all manner of political conspiracy theories to his tens of millions of online followers, has emerged at the center of the national conversation about the virtues and potential dangers inherent in tech giants’ efforts to censor so-called hate speech.

Jones’s critics, many of whom are animated by his conspiracy mongering related to the Sandy Hook massacre, have accused Facebook and similar online platforms of complicity in his campaign to dangerously undermine the existence of commonly held truths.

“Since then, more content from the same Pages has been reported to us — upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies,” Facebook wrote in its Monday blog post.

The decision by Facebook, which Jones relies on for a large portion of his following, came one day after BuzzfeedNews reported that Apple had deleted all of Jones’s podcast content.

While all of Jones’s podcasts were removed from its platforms, Apple elected to continue hosting podcasts featuring Jones’s Infowars colleague, David Knight.

“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 representative told the Washington Post. “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.”

Spotify and YouTube have responded to calls for Jones’s silencing in a more restrained manner, removing only the most problematic and potentially harmful individual podcasts and enacting various degrees of punishment including, in the case of YouTube, a 90-day revocation of Jones’s live-streaming privileges.

Sleeping Giants, an online media-activism group that has launched campaigns to deprive sites such as Breitbart of advertising revenue, celebrated Apple’s decision in a series of tweets on Sunday:

The group joined many of Jones’s critics in citing his support for the Sandy Hook truther conspiracy — which holds that the Sandy Hook massacre never actually took place — in calling for his removal from Apple’s platforms.

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