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Politics

Alex Jones' Infowars banned from Apple App Store permanently

The lockout follows a similar ban by Twitter.

Infowars' Alex Jones

Another door closes on Infowars' Alex Jones.

Tom Williams/Getty Images

Apple permanently kicked Alex Jones' Infowars app out of its App Store late Friday, further limiting the notorious conspiracy theorist's reach a day after Twitter banned Jones and Infowars for good.

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment, but a spokeswoman told The New York Times that the app was pulled because of App Store policies that prohibit content that's "offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust or in exceptionally poor taste." Infowars didn't respond to a request for comment.

Jones is the fiery right-wing broadcaster who's claimed, among other things, that the Sept. 11 attacks were an inside job, that the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was an anti-gun hoax and that Hillary Clinton was involved in a child sex ring run out of a Washington, DC, pizzeria.

He's currently facing at least five defamation lawsuits, including three filed by families of Sandy Hook victims, according to the Times.

The App Store ban further shrinks Jones' public reach. A Times report said visits to the Infowars website fell after Jones was banned last month by Facebook and that views of Jones' videos similarly tumbled after the Facebook lockout and an August ban by YouTube. Audio platforms iTunes and Spotify had also booted Jones.

After last month's crackdown, the Infowars app saw a jump in downloads, rising to the third slot under top free apps in the App Store's news category, according to The Washington Post. But the distribution channel the App Store represents has now been denied to Jones.

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The permanent App Store and Twitter bans come as huge tech firms confront a groundswell of criticism over their perceived inability to keep their platforms from being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, such as that disseminated during the 2016 US presidential elections. The call for these companies to step up has grown louder as the US moves closer to its important 2018 midterm elections.

At the same time, the companies face accusations from the right that they're biased and are censoring conservative views.

Infowars and Silicon Valley: Everything you need to know about the tech industry's free speech debate.

The Honeymoon is Over: Why tech is under Washington's microscope.