Roku Ditches Alex Jones and InfoWars Following Intense Backlash

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"After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform", Roku wrote in a tweet.

Streaming device maker Roku faced a backlash Tuesday over its decision to carry a channel for Infowars, the controversial website of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Roku said Tuesday that it had now no reason to drop the Infowars channel from its platform.

Without a platform, it was becoming increasingly hard to access Jones' hate-mongering content - other than going right to the InfoWars website, of course.

Other users condemned Roku for allowing Jones on the streaming platform. "While the vast majority of all streaming on our platform is mainstream entertainment, voices on all sides of an issue or cause are free to operate a channel", the company said in a statement. While those companies said InfoWars and Jones had violated their policies, Roku has attempted to excuse its InfoWars channel by claiming it doesn't "curate or censor based on viewpoint".

Infowars "expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics", Spotify said in its own statement.

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The controversy appears to have started on Monday when a Twitter user noticed Jones' show was added to Roku and informed media watchdog Sleeping Giants.

The service clearly made a decision to abandon this approach, since it announced that Infowars would be removed hours later. On Saturday, Judge Barbara Bellis of the Connecticut Superior Court ordered Jones to surrender internal Infowars documents related to the shooting and detail the conspiracy outlet's marketing strategies. Apple, YouTube and Facebook all cited platform policies regarding hate speech, with Facebook describing Infowars content as "glorifying violence.and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants". Even holdouts like Twitter eventually pulled InfoWars accounts. The same month, Jones was also kicked out of Apple's App Store.

In a statement, which you can read in full below, Roku said that its policies "prohibit the publication of content that is unlawful, incites illegal activities or violates third-party rights, among other things".

Jones and Infowars have frequently posted conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terrorist attacks as well as the Sandy Hook school shooting. "To our knowledge, Infowars is not now in violation of these content policies", the company added.

Infowars has not responded to a request for comment from Newsweek.

First published on January 15 at 3:58 p.m. PT. Updated on January 16 at 1:54 a.m. PT: Adds that Roku removed Infowars.

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