Will InfoWars.com Domain be Seized by Domain Provider Name.com for Hate Speech Violations?

As many of you probably already know, Alex Jones has been deplatformed on social media. Alex Jones’s Infowars.com news website is currently down (at the time this post) from an apparent “cyber attack.” Since our last post, Alex Jones/Infowars have additionally been removed by Pinterest, MailChimp, LinkedIn and porn sites like YouPorn. Big tech companies seemingly working together have now set a precedent banning Jones/Infowars for what they consider hate speech.

Within a 12 hour period, Alex Jones has been deplatformed from Spotify, Apple, YouTube and Facebook virtually simultaneously. Jones was excommunicated from the tech giants’ platforms following a pressure campaign from left-wing political activists and CNN. CNN even went on to publish an article today claiming Infowars.com is complicit in domestic terror.

“The stripping of InfoWars from Facebook, Apple and other platforms is an important step in the recognition of nativist, nationalist and white supremacist hate speech as a form of terrorism.”

Sadly, domestic terrorism, or Jones’ dangerous speech, in which he claims that he is in a holy war against Islam, is not prosecuted under that statute. This is a failing that has permitted the proliferation of platforms such as InfoWars, their presence on popular platforms a legitimization of sorts for their content.

This new decision is a step forward in recognizing that hate outlets, such as InfoWars, are complicit in domestic terror, and a relief to Muslim-Americans, like myself, who have been the target of online assaults and threats.” – Rafia Zakaria, CNN.

With Alex Jones effectively banned from the respectable face of the internet, viewers could still get his content on porn sites like YouPorn.

Not for long. YouPorn jumped on board the hate speech bandwagon late Monday. The site’s vice president Charlie Hughes issued a statement saying:

“Following news that YouTube, Spotify and Facebook have banned Alex Jones from their platforms, team YouPorn is joining in solidarity and announces we are banning his content as well. As one of the largest user-generated content platforms in the world, we have already removed his videos that have violated our terms of service. As an inclusive platform, hate has no place on YouPorn.”

If the powers that be decide to take it to the domain name registrar level, they could effectively strip Jones of the ability to even have his own platform on his own site, by taking away his domain name which is hosted by Name.com. This would not be the first time that a domain has been seized due to hate speech violations. White nationalists websites, The Daily Stormer and Stormfront, had their domains stripped for hate speech violations in 2017.

Microsoft has threatened to cease hosting services for the social media network Gab.ai over two anti-Semitic posts, according to an email published by Gab founder Andrew Torba. The email claims the posts violate Microsoft policy and requests that Gab “promptly take appropriate action to resolve the complaint within two business days” or hosting service will be suspended.

Founded as an alternative for users who were banned by Twitter and Facebook, Gab has long struggled to maintain infrastructure partners in the face of persistent hate speech complaints. Gab’s apps have been dropped from both the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, making the service largely unavailable on mobile devices.

In 2017, Gab was nearly dropped by its domain registrar over a series of posts that violated the provider’s hate speech policy. Could Infowars.com be next to have its domain stripped for hate speech? We think so.

Apple to put Sirius XM out of business?

Apple is hoping to make its iOS products more attractive to drivers. The tech giant introduced CarPlay this morning. CarPlay makes it easier for drivers to engage with their iPhones without having to take their eyes off the road.

They can make phone calls, check voice mails, and pull up directions by simply pressing a steering wheel button and calling up Apple’s voice-recognizing Siri. It will be available this week for Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Ferrari drivers, but more than a dozen other car giants are already on board to roll it out soon.

iradioHow does this potentially trip up Pandora or Sirius XM? Well, naturally, CarPlay also makes it seamlessly easy to use an iPhone’s flash memory or mobile connection for audio entertainment on the open road.

“CarPlay gives drivers access to all of their music, podcasts, audiobooks and iTunes Radio with easy navigation through listening choices from the car’s built-in controls or simply by asking Siri to pull up what you’d like to hear,” Apple’s press release explains.

“CarPlay also supports select third-party audio apps including Spotify and iHeartRadio, so you can listen to your favorite radio services or sports broadcast apps while driving.”

Sirius XM also can’t ignore CarPlay. It’s in the car, and that’s where the satellite radio monopoly is primarily used by most subscribers. Apple also makes it a point to emphasize the ability to stream podcasts, audiobooks, and sports broadcast apps.

In other words, it’s not just a music play. CarPlay wants to turn your iPhone into your radio and that could weigh on Sirius XM as well as terrestrial radio. As great as Sirius XM is, it has increased its rates twice over the past three years despite programming costs per subscriber declining in that time. It may be susceptible to free or nearly free entertainment options that are just as easy to experience.

Is Internet Radio the Future for Howard Stern?

What is SiriusXM without Howard Stern?

The answer: not much, unless there are more Oprah, Eminem and Martha Stewart fans out there to create a large enough draw to take his place. Too bad there aren’t.

Who else is going to ask Katey Sagal about whether or not Gene Simmons tried to sleep with her while she worked on his solo album? Or get Bryan Cranston to divulge the story of how he lost his virginity to a Danish prostitute that offered her services for the money in his pocket?

The “King of all Media” has had a loyal following since he went viral on terrestrial radio over three decades ago. Stern is also loyal to his fans, bringing callers on as regular show participants and even working through Hurricane Sandy, showing up to work both Monday and Tuesday despite the hazardous conditions in New York City.

But what does the future hold for satellite radio?

An estimated 60 percent of new vehicles sold are equipped with satellite radio compared to just 20 percent five years ago. But now, with the presence of wireless internet (think Cadillac (NYSE: GM) Wi-Fi and Chrysler’s (OTC: FIATY) Uconnect) becoming more common in new vehicles, and services like Pandora (NYSE: P) offering other alternatives to traditional radio, Stern may no longer need Sirius XM.

Stern could feasibly create his own service — perhaps even his own network — to broadcast his show to the masses without requiring his listeners to cover the cost of 120 other channels that they will never listen to.

Or, if Stern was not inclined to become a free agent, he could take his service, followers and loyalty to the next level and become a viable and attractive option to wireless internet providers and telecommunications companies.

Sirius XM already has plans to provide internet and television content to vehicles equipped with Wi-Fi, but it isn’t likely to be the only one. It is logical that soon enough services from Google and Apple will appear in vehicles. The need to place a satellite into orbit was once a limiting factor on radio alternatives, but the shift to the internet means options are endless for Stern’s next venture.

Apple’s entry into the Internet radio market have caused havoc with Pandora’s stock. It has dropped 40% since the rumor has been circulating in the last couple of months. Apple’s new Internet product is rumored to allow the listener to listen to the content selected as opposed to a pre-determined playlist. Whether or not this will have a huge impact on Sirius is hard to say. Sirius has made more of a name having hosting personalities, such as Howard Stern and several other talk radio programs, the music programming is almost a secondary consideration to its overall survival.

Although Sirius XM does not release numbers on listener statistics, estimates put Stern’s following anywhere from between 1.2 and 1.7 million listeners on live shows.

Sirius XM closed Friday at $2.82, down 3.42%. Year to date, the stock is up 54.95%, a trend that could continue assuming Stern remains with the company and no more lawsuits are filed. Sirius XM reports its third quarter earnings on November 1, and the company is expected to report $873 million in adjusted revenues for an increase of 14.1 percent from the year ago period.

Howard Stern close to signing 3 year – $600 million contract with iTunes?

An odd tweet gathered momentum today that claimed Stern is on the verge of signing a 3 year, $600 million dollar deal to host his show on Apple’s iTunes.

The tweet originated under the name “SIRI Stock” and linked to a Sirius XM’s Investor Relations webpage. There is no absolutely no reason to believe the claim since anyone can say pretty much anything on the social web site.