KEY POINTS

  • Google has banned Infowars app from Play Store
  • The app was removed because of a video uploaded by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones
  • Apple had removed the app from App Store in September 2018

Google has banned Infowars app from its Play Store over fake coronavirus claims. Before the removal from Play Store, the app was downloaded more than 100,000 times.

Google kicked out the app from its platform because of a video uploaded by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Wired reported. In the video, Jones questioned the need for shelter in place, quarantine activities and social distancing for slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

“When we find apps that violate Play policy by distributing misleading or harmful information, we remove them from the store,” a Google spokesperson told The Verge in a statement. 

The spokesperson stated that battling misinformation on the Play Store is crucial in times like these.

Apple had removed Infowars from App Store in September 2018 quoting the guidelines, which prohibits “content that is offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust, or in exceptionally poor taste,” according to The Verge’s report.

On Jan. 31, 2020, Google announced the launch of SOS Alert for searches on its platform related to the coronavirus.

SOS Alert header appears at the top of the page and you can use the sharing icon placed on the right side to generate a shareable link.

“Google SOS Alerts show any relevant news content in our regular ‘Top Stories’ box, followed by any relevant local updates. Currently, we are showing the same alerts globally about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Over time, these will localize if needed,” Google SearchLiaison team tweeted.

Tech giants like Google have come forward to curb the spread of any coronavirus-related misinformation on their platforms. Meanwhile, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company will be donating more than $800 million towards the fight against coronavirus.

In a message published on Google’s The Keyword, Pichai detailed the commitment to support health organizations, health workers, governments and small and medium-sized organizations.

The company has made a $200 million investment fund that will support financial institutions and NGOs across the world to provide capital to small-scale businesses.

To reduce coronavirus risk, visits to some Google offices have been restricted, and all job interviews will be "virtual" instead of face-to-face To reduce coronavirus risk, visits to some Google offices have been restricted, and all job interviews will be "virtual" instead of face-to-face Photo: AFP / JOSH EDELSON