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Roku Removes Infowars Channel Following Backlash

Roku has taken the Infowars channel off its platform after the streaming device faced criticism for carrying the controversial program hosted by right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

“After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform,” stated the company’s tweet on Tuesday evening. “Deletion from the channel store and platform has begun and will be completed shortly.”

The company originally responded to the controversy by saying Infowars wasn’t currently violating its terms of use. Digiday first reported that Roku added Infowars six months after major platforms, including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Apple’s app store, removed Jones and his outlet from their services.

Infowars had been on Roku for years with a channel apparently created by Infowars contributor Paul Joseph Watson. In recent weeks, the company added another channel that seems to have been created by an outside web development company.

Jones and Infowars have frequently posted conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terrorist attacks as well as the Sandy Hook school shooting. Prior to being banned from most major platforms, Jones also had individual videos removed for hate speech and other terms of use violations.

Jones spread the false claim that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, and last week, parents of children murdered in the tragedy won a legal victory against the pundit. A judge ruled that the families of the victims must be granted access to financial records and other documents as part of the discovery process in an ongoing lawsuit against Infowars.

An attorney representing several of the families also criticized the company for carrying Infowars in a statement released Tuesday afternoon:

“Roku’s shocking decision to carry Infowars and provide a platform for Alex Jones is an insult to the memory of the 26 children and educators killed at Sandy Hook. Worse, it interferes with families’ efforts to prevent people like Jones from profiting off innocent victims whose lives have been turned upside down by unspeakable loss. We call on Roku to realize this and immediately pull the program.”

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