We celebrated when InfoWars, the far-right conspiracy theory show, got banned from YouTube, Facebook and iTunes, but perhaps that celebration was premature. People have started downloading the InfoWars app like crazy, making it one of the most downloaded apps on both iPhones and Androids. Meanwhile, Twitter‘s CEO offered a weaksauce defense of why they haven’t kicked InfoWars off of their microblogging platform and InfoWars owner Alex Jones (pictured above) is busy trying to publish the addresses of the parents of the Sandy Hook shooting who are suing him for lying about their dead kids on his rancid show.
The InfoWars app, named InfoWars Official, allows the show’s fans to listen to the broadcast program, read written pieces by Jones and others and buy the worthless nutritional supplements sold on the show.
The Verge reports that the InfoWars app used to be the 47th most popular news app on the Apple iOS App Store — now it’s the fourth most popular. Similarly, InfoWars Official used to be the 31st most popular news app on the Google Play Store for Android phones — now it’s the 11th most popular.
Perhaps we should’ve seen this coming. In addition to the aforementioned social platforms, the podcast streaming app Stitcher, the music streaming app Spotify and the e-mail newsletter service MailChimp all banned InfoWars from their services, leaving fans scrambling for ways to get their fix of fake, paranoid political rambling.
Meanwhile, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, offered a mealy-mouthed explanation of why his social media platform hasn’t banned Alex Jones or InfoWars yet. Basically Dorsey said that Jones and InfoWars hasn’t violated Twitter’s terms of service yet, even though InfoWars is “frequently loaded with Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia and sexism.”
Dorsey also said his service isn’t meant to be an arbiter of truth and added that it’s up to other journalists and Twitter users to help stamp out InfoWars‘ disinformation. But Dorsey’s response isn’t surprising considering Twitter’s “haphazard and inconsistent” policy enforcement around hate speech. But still — we can’t help but wonder that if something like InfoWars doesn’t violate your rules, perhaps your rules aren’t very good.
Jones is homophobic garbage who claimed that former U.S. President Barack Obama has sex with 10 dudes a day. Among his show’s many dangerous fabrications, he claimed the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was faked and the 20 dead kids were merely “crisis actors” who faked their own deaths. This claim has resulted in the dead children’s parents being targeted for harassment. One set of grieving parents has had to move seven times in five years to avoid harassment from Jones’ followers.
The parents of the kids killed in the tragedy are now suing Jones for defamation. In response, Jones and his lawyers are requesting that the court publish the aforementioned parents’ addresses, basically making them sitting ducks for continued harassment.