Google has banned the Infowars Android app over false coronavirus claims

Google has banned the Infowars Android app over false coronavirus claims

Google has banned the Infowars Android app from the Google Play retailer, the corporate confirmed to Wired on Friday. Google additionally confirmed the app’s removing to The Verge, and we couldn’t discover the Infowars app in a search on the Play Retailer this night.

The app was apparently eliminated due to a video posted by radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that, in line with Wired, “disputed the necessity for social distancing, shelter in place, and quarantine efforts meant to sluggish the unfold of the novel coronavirus.” Earlier than it was eliminated, the app had greater than 100,000 downloads, Wired studies.

“Now greater than ever, combating misinformation on the Play Retailer is a high precedence for the group,” a Google spokesperson mentioned in an announcement given to The Verge. “After we discover apps that violate Play coverage by distributing deceptive or dangerous info, we take away them from the shop.” Infowars was not instantly obtainable for remark.

Final week, Alex Jones was ordered by New York Legal professional Normal Letitia James to cease promoting Infowars merchandise that have been marketed as a therapy or remedy for the coronavirus. “[Alex Jones’] newest mistruths are extremely harmful and pose a severe risk to the general public well being of New Yorkers and people throughout the nation,” James mentioned in an announcement.

Tech corporations have additionally publicly dedicated to cracking down on coronavirus misinformation. Google has an “SOS Alert” in place for searches for COVID-19, the illness brought on by the novel coronavirus, that factors to sources from the CDC and native governments on the high of search outcomes. And a gaggle of corporations that features Fb, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube mentioned they’re “collectively combating fraud and misinformation concerning the virus” in a assertion issued on March 16th.

Apple completely banned the Infowars app from the App Retailer in September 2018, citing App Retailer pointers that forbid content material that’s “offensive, insensitive, upsetting, meant to disgust, or in exceptionally poor style.”