Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Apple's Attempt to Ban Alex Jones Backfired in an Unexpected Way

Tech companies gave massive platforms to conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones. Is the crackdown finally here Alex Jones ‘patriots’ rush to App Store to download Infowars app
Ellis Copeland | 08 August, 2018, 20:04

Suddenly, Alex Jones and his conspiracy theory InfoWars brand have been wiped from just about every online platform. Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB) and Google's (GOOGL) YouTube removed content associated with Jones and InfoWars for violating their policies.

Dorsey said he understood why people were upset with the decision, but he said censorship isn't the answer. It's on everyone else.

The Twitter honcho admitted that Jones, who has claimed that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged, can "often sensationalize issues and spread unsubstantiated rumors".

"This is what serves the public conversation best", he said. The four companies stated that Jones' disparaging comments about Muslims, immigrants, members of the LGBT community, and several other groups of people violate the hate speech clauses in their respective terms-of-service agreements.

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The social network announced Tuesday that it would not ban Alex Jones or InfoWars from the site, noting that neither are now in violation of its rules.

As of this writing, InfoWars is now the fourth most popular free app on the Apple App Store, beating CNN, the New York Times, Google News, HuffPost, and dozens of other mainstream news outlets. In a series of tweets, Dorsey explains that Twitter enforces its rules "impartially, regardless of political viewpoints". Twitter has recently stepped up actions against fake accounts, but the company has admitted that it has no "scalable policy or set of product features around authenticity of content".

We didn't suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday. "While we welcome everyone to express themselves on our service, we prohibit targeted behaviour that harasses, threatens, or uses fear to silence the voices of others". But this hasn't shielded Twitter from criticism following its decision to allow Jones a platform.

The microblogging platform, which has been dogged by accusations that it does not do enough to protect its users from hate speech and disinformation, said that it will only take action against accounts for harassment if they specifically @-mention or tag another account or threaten violence.

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