Apple removed Alex Jones’ Info Wars app from their app store on Friday. That move alone would be a major loss for anyone considering the amount of Apple users. But for Jones and his Info Wars program, the Apple ban is another set of cement shoes that are surely about to ensure that Jones and his brand get buried at the bottom of the ocean right alongside other unwanted trash.
Jones’ Info Wars built up a huge loyal viewership that garnered a large following on practically every social network and streaming site. As far as I can tell, Info Wars is mainly a wild conspiracy theory vehicle with Jones himself at the wheel. The rise of a person like Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States probably played very well into the Info Wars agenda. Jones took advantage of this and grew his brand. The crazier the conspiracy theory (and the host), the more attention Jones and Info Wars garnered. This was likely good news for Jones and the sites that hosted his shows and allowed Jones to interact with his fans.
The problem with conspiracy theories are that at some point, conspiracy theories can become a danger to the public. No example bigger than the “pizzagate” conspiracy. The story behind this was that Hilary Clinton was kidnapping kids and holding them hostage in the basement of a pizza shop. (I wish I could tell you that this was a joke, but it’s not) The danger with crazy conspiracy theories is that some people believe them wholeheartedly. Which was what happened here. After hearing Jones’ pizzagate rants, a disgruntled Jones listener decided it was his civic duty to take action. A man went to the pizza shop armed with weapons and demanded that the kids being held hostage by Hilary Clinton in the basement be freed. Fortunately, no one was hurt in that incident. The fanatic Info Wars listener was arrested without incident. Oh, by the way…..the pizza shop didn’t have any kidnapped kids inside…..or a basement at all.
In my personal opinion, that alone was enough of an incident to have social media and other platforms drop the hammer on Info Wars, but they didn’t. The conspiracy theories continued. Jones had temporary bans from sites here and there, but those bans were never enough to really slow down or hurt the Info Wars brand or Alex Jones’ pockets. Recently things changed though. Facebook hit Jones with a permanent band, that was shortly followed by Youtube and most recently Twitter. If you can’t promote your products on those sites, you’re pretty much over and done with. The Apple move is another nail in the Info Wars coffin.
The New York Times (@NYTimes) spoke to an Apple spokesperson who said Info Wars was removed under company policy that prohibits apps on its site from including content that is “offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust, or in exceptionally poor taste.” The spokesperson declined to say if any specific content in the app led to Info Wars removal.