Apple Inc, YouTube, Facebook Inc and Spotify all took down podcasts and channels from U.S. conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, saying Monday that the Infowars author had broken community standards.
The sweeping moves are the broadest actions yet by internet companies that have suspended or removed some of the conspiracy-driven content.
Since founding Infowars in 1999, Jones has built a vast audience. Among the theories he has promoted is that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington were staged by the government.
Facebook said it removed the pages "for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies."
Infowars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson said in a tweet that the broad take-downs amounted to censorship and were intended to help Democrats in the national election this fall.
"Infowars is widely credited with having played a key role in electing Donald Trump. By banning Infowars, big tech is engaging in election meddling just three months before crucial mid-terms," Watson wrote on the Infowars Web site.
In this country, you are legally allowed to be hateful and say hateful shit, but private corporations are not bound to allow you to do so on their platforms.— Shaun King (@shaunking) August 6, 2018
Alex Jones never should've been allowed to get this far spreading hate & lies & violence.
Neither should Trump.
The Alex Jones Channel on Alphabet Inc's YouTube on Monday displayed a banner saying the account had been terminated for violating community guidelines, and a spokesperson added by email that repeated violation of policies such as those prohibiting hate speech and harassment led to termination of accounts.
Apple deleted most Infowars podcasts and a spokeswoman said in a statement that the company "does not tolerate hate speech" and publishes guidelines that developers and publishers must follow.
"Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming," Apple said in a statement. "We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”
Music and podcast company Spotify said on Monday that it had now removed all of Jones's Infowars programs from its platform, after last week removing some programs.
A representative said that Spotify took seriously reports of hate content. "Due to repeated violations of Spotify's prohibited content policies, The Alex Jones Show has lost access to the Spotify platform," the representative said.
Facebook had earlier suspended the radio and Internet host's personal profile for 30 days in late July from its site for what the company said was bullying and hate speech.
Jones has also promoted a theory that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was faked by left-wing forces to promote gun control. The shooting left 26 children and adults dead at a Connecticut elementary school.
He is being sued in Texas by two Sandy Hook parents, seeking at least $1 million, claiming that they have been the subject of harassment driven by his programs.