Apple Podcasts is allowing multiple shows that have promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory to use its platform, despite rules that would seem to prohibit these shows.
According to Apple Podcasts’ content guidelines, the service prohibits content “that may lead to harmful or dangerous outcomes” and content that “is likely to humiliate, intimidate, harass, or harm individuals or groups or includes specific threats of violence against certain groups or individuals.”
The QAnon conspiracy theory revolves around an anonymous account known as “Q,” and some of its supporters have been tied to violent incidents and participated in the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol. Multiple government agencies have also issued internal warnings of domestic terrorism regarding supporters of the conspiracy theory.
Despite the platform’s rules, QAnon’s ties to violence, and government warnings about its supporters, a Media Matters review has found multiple QAnon-supporting shows and figures on the platform. Media Matters reported that several of these shows were on the platform back in 2020 — X22 Report, RedPill78, The Tore Says Show, and Woke Societies — yet they have remained. Some have also appeared to make positive remarks related to the January 6 Capitol insurrection. The shows and figures found in the review are:
- MatrixxxGrooove Show (or MG Show), a QAnon show which has been banned from YouTube that is co-hosted by QAnon influencer Jeffrey Pedersen, known online as “intheMatrixxx.”
- RedPill78, a QAnon show that has been banned from YouTube and whose host, Zak Paine, has admitted to participating in the Capitol insurrection.
- Praying Medic, a QAnon show hosted by Dave Hayes, a QAnon influencer known online as “Praying Medic” who has been banned from YouTube and who has called for a military coup against President Joe Biden.
- X22 Report, a QAnon show banned from YouTube that reportedly in part influenced a man who purposely derailed a train to try to crash it into a U.S. Navy hospital ship treating coronavirus patients.
- The Tore Says Show, a QAnon show hosted by Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman, a QAnon influencer known online as “Tore” who has targeted elected officials for harassment.
- BardsFM, a QAnon show hosted by Scott Kesterson, who has called those who were arrested for allegedly participating in the Capitol insurrection “patriots” and who has reportedly coordinated with a QAnon militia group.
- Cannabis and Combat, a QAnon-supporting podcast whose host, Justin Andersch, has reportedly accosted and threatened Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.
Besides hosting these QAnon shows, the platform also appears to be algorithmically recommending them to users, with some showing up under the “You Might Also Like” section when on the pages for many of these shows.