The controversial Infowars app, an outlet of notorious conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, has been taken down from the Google Play Retailer for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, the illness attributable to the brand new coronavirus.
Google confirmed to WIRED that it eliminated the app, which had greater than 100,000 downloads. The app offered varied merchandise, contained movies and articles from Jones, and provided stay broadcasts of The Alex Jones Present.
The Infowars app was eliminated following a video that was posted to it final week, through which Jones questioned efforts in slowing the unfold of the coronavirus, together with social distancing and self-quarantines.
Within the video, Jones talked about how “everyone dies below the brand new world order,” and that there exist pure antivirals that may be capable of struggle the brand new coronavirus. The Infowars app additionally offered merchandise, together with dietary supplements and toothpaste, which have been claimed to be cures of the coronavirus.
“Now greater than ever, combating misinformation on the Play Retailer is a high precedence for the group,” a spokesperson for Google advised WIRED. “After we discover apps that violate Play coverage by distributing deceptive or dangerous data, we take away them from the shop.”
The removing of the Infowars app from the Google Play Retailer comes a few 12 months and a half after Apple took it down from its App Retailer, with the query being what took Google so lengthy to do the identical factor.
Combating towards coronavirus misinformation
Google was a part of a February assembly organized by the World Well being Group and hosted by Fb that had the objective of stopping the unfold of misinformation concerning the new coronavirus. Different firms represented on the assembly embrace Amazon, Twitter, and Verizon.
Google additionally lately launched COVID-19 Data & Sources, a easy however helpful informational web site that explains the illness, its signs, and remedy choices. The web site additionally offers prevention ideas, informational and leisure movies, recommendation assets, and a map exhibiting the confirmed COVID-19 instances per nation.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has reportedly determined to cancel its April Fools’ Day jokes this 12 months, as executives feared that the pranks would seem in poor style.
For the most recent updates on the novel coronavirus outbreak, go to the World Well being Group’s COVID-19 web page.