Misinformation is spreading like wildfire in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and one source of that has been the highly controversial Alex Jones and his Infowars outlet. Today, Google has finally taken action against the Infowars Android app, removing it from the Play Store.
Google confirmed to Wired that, as of March 27, the Inforwars Android app has been banned from the Google Play Store. The app was free to download and had about 100,000 downloads. It was used to sell products such as supplements and broadcast the Alex Jones Show.
Infowars and its founder, Alex Jones, have been selling supplements and other products — including toothpaste — as coronavirus cures as of late. Earlier this month, the State of New York’s attorney general ordered Jones to stop selling these “latest mistruths” as they pose a threat to the general public. Despite there being no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, the products were being sold as a cure. In the time since, they’ve added a notice saying they don’t “diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
A Google spokesperson said regarding the removal of the Infowars Android app:
Now more than ever, combating misinformation on the Play Store is a top priority for the team. When we find apps that violate Play policy by distributing misleading or harmful information, we remove them from the store.
This is hardly the first time Infowars has been removed by major tech companies. In 2018, Google banned Infowars from YouTube with Twitter, and Facebook quickly followed suit. Apple also removed the iOS app for Infowars from its App Store and the podcast as well.
More on Google Play:
- You can donate to support coronavirus relief efforts w/ Google Play Store
- Google Play now lists download counts in store search results
- Google brings Play Store dark theme all the way back to Android 5.0 with manual setting
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