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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

In less than a week, Spotify, Stitcher, Apple, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest have all taken action to either ban or crack down on InfoWars and its conspiratorial leader Alex Jones. The only platform exception so far has been Twitter, which says Jones has not violated its policies.

Why it matters: The sudden and collective boycott of Alex Jones is a significant tipping point for Big Tech, where values of openness and inclusivity have been tested for years by conspiracy theorists and bad actors.

  • Jones was ultimately banned from most of these platforms for hate speech, not misinformation, on which most tech platforms have a tougher time drawing a clear line.
  • The crackdown comes as Jones and Infowars currently face defamation lawsuits brought against them by Sandy Hook parents — due to his repeated false claims that the elementary school shooting is a hoax.

The big picture: This marks a milestone for organized boycotts on the left, which have included Jones for years on black lists that includes Breitbart News and Rush Limbaugh, per Axios' Mike Allen.

  • And it's a huge loss for fringe voices on the right that have for years taken advantage of the loose policies of open tech platforms to propagate conspiracy theories and other misinformation.

What's next? Jones has mostly been removed from having any major platform on the internet, with the exception of Twitter, his website, other less prominent platforms on the web (Gab, 4chan), and ... his apps.

Infowars launched a new app on July 9th, replacing its old app that was built in 2016. It has been downloaded about 93,000 times already and has logged more than 600,000 hours spent in-app by these users, according to Apptopia estimates.

  • It's currently ranked #4 in top free apps in the news category, ahead of those like MSNBC, BBC News, Fox News and the New York Times in the Apple App Store.

Go deeper

Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 219-211 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.

The new grifters: outrage profiteers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As Republicans lost the Senate and narrowly missed retaking the House, millions of dollars in grassroots donations were diverted to a handful of 2020 congressional campaigns challenging high-profile Democrats that, realistically, were never going to succeed.

Why it matters: Call it the outrage-industrial complex. Slick fundraising consultants market candidates contesting some of their party’s most reviled opponents. Well-meaning donors pour money into dead-end campaigns instead of competitive contests. The only winner is the consultants.