Over the weekend, Apple, along with Facebook and Spotify, pulled “InfoWars” content from their services. In the case of Apple, removing the controversial material was vexing, given its decision to keep the content elsewhere.
According to CNN’s Dylan Byers, Apple’s Tim Cook and Eddy Cue were the ones who decided to pull five of the six InfoWars podcasts that were previously available. However, they elected to keep the InfoWars app on the App Store because they didn’t feel it violated any policies.
In deciding to pull the podcasts, Apple explained to Buzzfeed news:
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.
What’s the problem? If you want to listen to an InfoWars podcast on your Apple device, you can still do so by using the InfoWars app. In other words, Apple has decided to keep content, it just said was hate speech.
This sounds a little bit like wanting to have it both ways, don’t you think?
Apple would be wise to address this issue further by either pulling the app as well, thereby standing by its original comment, or returning the InfoWars podcasts to the official Podcasts app and explaining the reasons for doing so. As things are, Apple’s decision is confusing, at best.
In the meantime, the free InfoWars app is now the No. 4 News app in the App Store.
What do you think Apple should do? Let us know in the comments below.