Google Removes Infowars App Months After Apple Did the Same
Apple banned and removed the Infowars app from its platform in 2018. Facebook banned the controversial group in 2019. Google had not done anything over Infowars, although its YouTube group did suspend a channel run by Infowars operator Alex Jones in 2018.
But now, Google has removed and banned the Infowars app from its Google Play Store. The move comes as the Infowars organization has been peddling false information.
The Main Trigger
The far-right conspiracy website Infowars has been extremely controversial over the years for many of its statements. But Google had finally made the decision to remove Infowars altogether after the site had spread information questioning the efforts needed to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus during the ongoing pandemic.
Alex Jones, the founder and owner of Infowars, mentioned various statements about the coronavirus that have been proven inaccurate. Jones suggests that social distancing is inappropriate and will do nothing. He also tried promoting products that contain ingredients that he claims will cure the coronavirus, but those products have no scientific backing to them.
The video that finally led to Google removing Infowars from its platform entailed Jones saying that the “new world order” was planning the coronavirus to kill people. The statement included a claim that people would “merge with machines” as part of a deal with an “inter-dimensional thing” that provides all the technology they need.
The Infowars app had about 100,000 downloads on Google Play before its removal. The app also had an E10+ rating. The app featured videos from the group, including broadcasts of Jones’ show. People could also buy supplements from the group, with many of these products claiming they can cure various issues or allow people to “open their minds,” among other points.
Google stated in its effort to remove the app that it was providing harmful and misleading information. The lack of backing surrounding these points was also troubling.
Google stated that it is still committed to free speech. However, it is also essential to stop the rise of abuse, misinformation, and various attacks or campaigns of disinformation from spreading online. The concern led to Google getting rid of the Infowars app altogether.
A Long Period of Controversy
The wait for Google to remove the Infowars app comes as people have become more aware of the issues surrounding what Infowars does. Alex Jones and others involved with the group have promoted various conspiracies, including ones relating to chemtrails, weather control efforts by the government, and various 9/11-related thoughts.
Jones has long claimed that mass shootings are “false flags” designed to curb the Second Amendment in the United States. Jones particularly claims that the 2012 mass shooting of the Sandy Hook elementary school was fake. He also says that many students who survived the 2018 Parkland high school shooting were “crisis actors.”
Jones and Infowars have been the subject of many lawsuits. Many families of Sandy Hook victims have sued for defamation. The Chobani yogurt company also sued after Jones claimed that Chobani was importing “migrant rapists” into the country. Both suits resulted in settlements.