It took them a long time but finally, Google has removed the controversial Infowars app from the Play Store. It only took publishing misinformation about the coronavirus for them to finally make the move more than a year after Apple decided to remove the app from its own App Store. This is just one of the steps that Google is taking to remove misinformation from their various platforms, as some of the things being spread around may actually cause harm and death to people.
Infowars is a platform by popular and controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Over the years he has published a lot of out-there and sometimes dangerous claims. The app is where people can get access to Alex Jones Show broadcasts, articles, videos, etc. They were even selling things through the app like supplements, protein powders, etc, that are probably not as trustworthy as the content on the app itself.
The latest move that got them kicked out of the Google Play Store is they allegedly published a video that claimed natural remedies can be used to treat COVID-19 patients. It also claims that the current efforts that people are doing, like social distancing and quarantine, are not really effective. These can be dangerous claims as some people take things like this seriously which can lead to more infection and even more deaths.
Google said that they remove apps that violate its policies and this particular app was in violation of the distribution of fake news and information. Google will have to get tougher on those who violate these policies as a lot of people will take this opportunity to spread their dangerous conspiracy theories and even take advantage of the situation to monetize on people’s fears and anxieties.
Removing Infowars on Google Play Store doesn’t mean that the app is going away completely. This just means users will not have an easy time accessing it and if they really want it on their smartphones, they will have to side load it. We’re guessing those who still want the app will not how to do that anyway.