When asked to comment on why the Infowars app was pulled on Friday, Apple referred Buzzfeed to its App Store Review Guidelines.
The first clause of those guidelines explicitly rejects content that is “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.”
In August, Apple pulled most of Jones’ podcast content from iTunes, noting that it didn’t “tolerate hate speech.” However, in a controversial move, it decided to keep the Infowars app on the App Store, noting at the time that the app didn’t infringe on App Store review rules, explaining:
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. 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 hasn’t said what has changed between then and now.
In recent weeks, Jones has also been kicked off Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube. Twitter originally decided to keep Jones on its service. This week, however, it too pulled the conspiracy theorist from its platform, saying he was in violation of its “abusive behavior” rules.
The Infowars app remains on the Google Play store.
Was Apple correct in removing the Infowars app? Let us know below.