Leading up the 2018 midterm elections, Fox News Channel was looking to entice fans of Infowars — the right-wing purveyor of conspiracy theories that has been booted from most internet platforms — to download its app.
As of Tuesday, an ad for Fox News’ app appeared at the top of a search for “Infowars” on Apple’s App Store (see screenshot, below). Apple pulled the Infowars app from the App Store in early September for violating its content policies.
But now the conservative-leaning news cabler says the ad tied to Infowars was “an error” and that it has taken steps to end the campaign. Fox News discontinued the ad after being contacted by Variety inquiring about the ad’s placement.
“In working with Apple on our app acquisition campaign, it recently came to our attention that Infowars was included within our competitive set along with sites like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal,” John Fiedler, VP of digital at Fox News, said in an emailed statement. “This was an error, which has since been corrected.”
In addition to Fox News, searches for “Infowars” in the App Store showed ads from a developer called NewsLeap, promoting its Right Wing News and Conservative Talk Radio apps.
When Apple removed the Infowars app on Sept. 7, the company cited its policy barring apps that include content that is “offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust or in exceptionally poor taste.” The Infowars app for Android remains available on Google Play.
That came a month after Apple removed Infowars podcasts from iTunes. Both Infowars and founder Alex Jones also were kicked off YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, and other services. Twitter banned Infowars and Jones in September.
Infowars’ false assertions over the years have included claiming that 9/11 was perpetrated by “globalists” in the U.S. government; that the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 was a hoax; and that David Hogg, one of the students who survived the February 2018 shooting massacre in Parkland, Fla., was a paid actor.