Apple banned Alex Jones’ Infowars app in September, but CEO Tim Cook says it wasn’t because of his incessant peddling of Sandy Hook conspiracies or his confrontation with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in the halls of Congress.
In an interview with VICE News, Cook said it was, in fact, no single incident that caused Apple to remove Jones. Instead, he said, it was an accumulation of things that serve as a prime example of why Apple keeps human curators at the center of its products and services.
“We think that what the user wants is someone that does review these apps, someone that does review the podcasts, someone that on like Apple News, where a human is selecting the top stories,” Cook said.
Cook stressed it didn't have anything to do with Jones’ politics. “We don't take a political stand,” he said. “We're not leaning one way or the other. You'll see everything from very conservative to very liberal. And that's the way I think it should be.”
After Apple banned Jones, Facebook and Twitter almost immediately followed suit, but Cook said Apple had no contact with other companies before or after they made their decision. “I've never even had a conversation about this with any tech company,” Cook said. “We make our decisions independently and I think that's important.”
The ban is not absolute; those who downloaded the Infowars app before the ban can keep listening, and all of Jones’ content is available through the web on Apple’s Safari browser. But where Apple is curating the experience for users, Jones is gone.
“There's enough there that reasonable people could agree that if you're going to curate, that, that should be all,” he said.