Despite removing almost the entire library of Infowars podcasts from iTunes and its Podcasts app, Apple says that it will continue to list the ‘Infowars Official’ app on the App Store. The company had removed the podcasts for violation of its hate speech guidelines.
However, since the mobile app has not violated any such guidelines, Apple will continue to let the app exist in the App Store for now. It will, however, closely monitor the app for any kind of violation. The Infowars Official app allows users to view the live stream of the podcasts. This essentially means that the app will act as a channel for viewers to consume the same hate speech content that Apple deemed harmful in the first place and removed from iTunes.
Apple has issued a statement for this action where it makes it clear that it will remove any app that violates the 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’s CEO Tim Cook and Eddy Cue had met over the weekend to discuss the removal of the Infowars podcasts from iTunes and the Podcasts app.
It was only after Apple removed the Infowars podcasts from iTunes that Facebook and YouTube followed suit and removed the same content from their platform. However, all that publicity that Infowars has received over the weekend has actually led to the app rising in popularity. Its position in the iOS App Store has jumped from 47th to 3rd in just a couple of days.
Thus inadvertently, Apple removing the Infowars podcasts from its platform provided the show with more limelight than it needed in the first place. And by keeping the app on the App Store, Apple is making it easy for people to consume hate speech which they might have otherwise completely missed.[Via BuzzFeed News]