On Sunday evening Apple took down the entire library for five of Infowars' six podcasts from its iTunes and Podcasts apps. And though the removal was one of the largest crackdowns on conspiratorial news content by a technology company to date, the company has not yet completely severed ties with the conspiracy outlet.
As of Monday afternoon, Apple users can still find and download the Infowars app in the company's popular App Store. The decision to keep the app — which allows users to read Infowars articles, shop, and livestream all of Jones' programming 24 hours a day — appears inconsistent with Apple's strong assertion Sunday evening that Infowars' content is in direct violation of the company's hate speech guidelines.
"Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users," Apple said in a statement to BuzzFeed News regarding its decision to remove Jones' podcasts.
It's not immediately clear why the Infowars app remains on the App Store; Apple declined to comment when asked Sunday evening.
According to Apple's App Store review guidelines for developers, the company forbids apps that include "content that is offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust, or in exceptionally poor taste."
The first clause of the guidelines explicitly rejects content that is "defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content, including references or commentary about religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, national/ethnic origin, or other targeted groups, particularly if the app is likely to humiliate, intimidate, or place a targeted individual or group in harm’s way." The policy does, however, make an exception for some "professional political satirists and humorists." Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to whether the Infowars app violates these guidelines.
Apple's App Store remains a valuable platform for Infowars to promote its content. The company recently relaunched its app on July 9 and the analytics company Apptopia estimates that Infowars has been 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 the app and is ranked #37 in the App Store News category beating out MSNBC, Bloomberg Business, Pocket, NBC News, and the Washington Post.
Apple isn't the only tech company to crack down on Infowars' content without touching the outlet's app. Google — the parent company of YouTube, which removed Jones' page on Monday morning — has not removed the Infowars app from its Google Play store. As of Monday afternoon, the app was the 32nd most popular app in the News and Magazines category. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.