- Apple removed several Infowars podcasts from iTunes for violating its “hate speech” policy, but has not removed the Infowars app from the App Store.
- The app is surging and downloads are up over 10x on iPhone – it was the No. 3 news app on Thursday, ahead of CNN, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and the New York Times.
- Apple said in a statement that “we strongly support all points of view being represented on the App Store” and it continues “to monitor apps for violations of our guidelines.”
On Wednesday, after three days of silence, Apple announced that it had no immediate plans to remove Infowars Official, an app with conspiracy-themed videos and livestreams, from its App Store.
Apple said, via Buzzfeed and Reuters:
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.
Infowars Official is surging on Apple’s charts ever since the iPhone company decided to remove easy access to several Infowars podcasts from iTunes, including the flagship show, “The Alex Jones Show,” after calling its content “hate speech.”
The primary purpose of the Infowars Official app is to give Jones fans a way to livestream his daily show, where he often makes wild and untrue claims, like that the Sandy Hook mass shooting never happened, or more recently, he said Democrats were planning a civil war on July 4.
The Infowars Official app does not include a back catalog of shows. But that hasn’t stopped the app from becoming the No. 49 overall free app excluding games, according to The New York Times.
It was No. 3 on the U.S. “news” category on Thursday, ahead of apps from The New York Times, Buzzfeed, CNN, and Fox News.
One analyst said on Tuesday that the app saw a “huge increase in installs.”
“We’re talking from a few hundred per day on U.S. iPhone to a few thousand, or about 10x,” Sensor Tower analyst Randy Nelson said in an email.
Apple was widely praised after it removed the Infowars podcasts from iTunes, a move that reportedly was made by CEO Tim Cook. After Apple made its call, other companies including Facebook and YouTube reportedly took note and then decided to curtail Jones’ access to their platforms as well.
An Android version of the app remains in Google Play, the Android app store, where it appears to be seeing a surge of downloads as well. Apple didn’t return a request for comment.