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Legitimate removal or censorship? Tech platforms Apple, YouTube nix Alex Jones




Alex Jones, of Infowars, Roger Stone, former Donald Trump advisor, and Jonathan Alter pose for a photo following an episode of Alter Family Politics on SiriusXM at Quicken Loans Arena on July 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Alex Jones, of Infowars, Roger Stone, former Donald Trump advisor, and Jonathan Alter pose for a photo following an episode of Alter Family Politics on SiriusXM at Quicken Loans Arena on July 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ben Jackson/Getty Images for SiriusXM

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On Monday, Apple removed five of Infowars’ six podcasts from its apps, the first domino in a chain that also included YouTube, Facebook and Spotify, which all kicked conspiracy theorist Alex Jones off their platforms.

Apple cited its user guidelines as the reason that Jones was nixed. Some have applauded the move as one that denies a platform to hate speech and misinformation. But critics have cried censorship and have expressed concern over tech giants acting as arbiters of content — their capacity to do so fairly and the transparency with which they choose who gets a platform and who does not.

Should Alex Jones have been removed from these platforms? Will this create a slippery slope in which tech giants selectively censor content?

Guests:

Larry Gross, professor of communication at USC

Jeffrey McCall, professor of communication at DePauw University in Indiana and former journalist; he is a columnist for The Hill; he tweets @Prof_McCall