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By 6 August 2018 | Categories: news

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If there is one thing that 2018 has taught us, it is that major technology companies cannot be afraid of taking a political stand, at risk bearing the consequences of failing to do so. While Facebook was recently grilled as to why it still accommodates controversial conspiracy theory channel InfoWars, Apple was not so shy to draw the line. In a volatile political climate, hate speech is apparently a step too far.

More specifically Apple have taken a stand against conspiracy theory channel InfoWars, and its beleaguered host Alex Jones, by removing a number of InfoWars’ podcasts from iTunes, and the Podcasts app.

The move is not unprecedented, as most recently, Spotify similarly removed Jones’ content from its servers, citing hate speech. However, while Spotify scrubbed select episodes, Apple has gone a step further, to remove batches of InfoWars’ episodes. Facebook has also bowed to pressure this week, removing four of Jones’ pages from the social media platform.

Indeed, getting InfoWars, and Jones into hot water these days is his claim that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax. Worse, he is currently seeking more than $100,000 in court costs from the family of one of the children killed in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School – after they sued him for defamation.

According to CNBC, a statement by Apple made their position clear, with a spokesperson explaining: "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."

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