A gift from Apple: 600,000 hours of Alex Jones

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From Apple Has Permanently Banned Alex Jones’ Infowars App From The App Store, posted Friday by BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski:

 

The App Store has been a valuable platform for Infowars. The site relaunched its app on July 9, and, according to the analytics company Apptopia, it was downloaded about 93,000 times in its first month. Though it cautioned that the app is still too new to the App Store to provide definitive daily average user analytics, Apptopia told BuzzFeed News that Infowars has logged more than 600,000 hours spent in-app as of August. After Jones’ ban from Facebook, YouTube, and Apple’s podcast platform, the app surged to the third spot in Apple’s App Store…

While Apple removed Jones and Infowars from its podcast platform in early August, the company took no action against the Infowars app; nor did it explain why it was allowed to remain. It’s worth noting, however, that the Infowars app does not store content, which presumably made violations of Apple’s guidelines more difficult to police.

My take: In August, it was Apple’s lead that prompted Facebook, Spotify and YouTube to kick Jones off their platforms. Odd to have Apple bringing up the rear—after even that laggard, Twitter—in September.

See also: Apple puts its foot down and steps in the white-hot center of Trumpist conspiracy mongering.