Roku just made a bad decision about his growing advertising business by associating his brand with toxic conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. As Digiday reported for the first time this morning, Roku chose to add to the Roku platform a channel supported by the Infowars live show, hosted by Jones, a lot at the disgust of customers now hammering the business on its social media platforms.
Apparently, the company opts for defense "we are a neutral platform", despite the fact that most major platforms have moved away from this position vis-à-vis Jones.
Apple, Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, Twitter, Periscope, Stitcher, Pinterest, LinkedIn and even YouPorn removed Infowars from their respective platforms.
The decision to authorize the chain comes at a time when Jones and Infowars are making headlines again due to a recent update of the legal battle pitting the Sandy Hook families against the Infowars program. The families are suing the conspiracy theorist for falsely claiming that the school shootout was a hoax and that Infowars was peddling these stories to stir up fear and sell more products like life jackets and accessories. firearms, reports the Grouvy Today.
A judge ordered Infowars to provide families with internal documents related to his business plan or marketing strategies, filming himself, crisis actors or mass shootings.
Roku's decision to authorize the chain is a mediocre decision, not only with regard to taking a moral stand on complex issues (if you are of the mind that companies should do), this seems to go against Roku's policy of banning content. which is "illegal, incites to illegal activities or violates the rights of third parties".
It's the same general premise that has seen Infowars banned everywhere else.
Following Jones' assertions, the Sandy Hook families received death threats and were continuously harassed, even offline. Jones also promoted other theories that led to violence, such as Pizzagate.
Roku's position, apparently, is that the chain did nothing wrong. again on his platform, no matter his past.
Many of Roku's social media clients are threatening to boycott. A search for terms such as "roku", "boycott" and others related to the news accelerates on Twitter, the #boycottroku The hashtag has just reappeared. (It was used before by customers protesting the NRA channel.)
Given the tight race of Amazon Fire TV and Roku and Roku's pursuit of advertising revenue through new initiatives such as its Roku channel, a boycott could have a material impact. (It looks like Amazon has chosen the right day to launch its new Fire Stick Fire with the new Alexa remote control.) At $ 40, consumers will have no trouble changing their streamer, if that happens A search for "infowars" in If you're curious, Amazon Fire TV apps are not currently giving results.
Roku has become one of the leading manufacturers of streaming media devices in the United States and around the world. It has recently touched nearly 24 million registered users. Digiday says it should generate $ 293 million in advertising by 2018, by eMarketer, which puts it right behind Hulu.
Apparently, Roku thinks he can stand out from the content hosted on his platform.
This is not a good idea for advertisers. However, many will not want their brand to appear anywhere. near Infowars. And since Roku displays the ads directly on its home screen, this means that the advertisers' content can be displayed directly next to the Infowars channel icon, if not in the program itself.
It may also cause advertisers to be reluctant to collaborate with Roku on other initiatives because they do not understand how to manage brand security or fear a consumer reaction.
The complete statement of Roku is below:
Our streaming platform allows our customers to choose from thousands of entertainment channels, news and specialized interests, representing a wide range of topics and points of view. Customers choose and control the channels they download or watch, and parents can set a pin to prevent the download of channels. While the vast majority of streaming feeds on our platform are mainstream entertainment, voices from all sides of a problem or cause are free to operate a chain. We do not organize or censor according to the point of view.
We do not advertise or get paid to distribute InfoWars. We do not have a business relationship with InfoWars.
Although we are open to many voices, we have policies that prohibit the publication of illegal content, inciting illegal activities or violating the rights of third parties, among others. If we determine that a channel violates these rules, it will be deleted. To our knowledge, InfoWars does not currently violate these content policies.
UPDATED, 1/15/19, 2:43 PM ET:
Following Roku's statement on his decision, Josh Koskoff, Koskoff's lawyer, Koskoff & Bieder, representing several Sandy Hook families suing Jones after repeatedly asserting that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, also published a statement:
Roku's shocking decision to wear 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 still, it hampers families' efforts to prevent people like Jones from taking advantage of innocent victims whose lives have been disrupted by unspeakable losses. We call on Roku to understand him and immediately withdraw the program. Until then, families will turn to alternative streaming providers who know the difference between authentic – so provocative – opinions and an opportunist liar seeking to make money by any means possible. No expected income amount could justify Roku's calculated decision.
UPDATE, 1/15/19, 22:55 – Roku has decided to remove the Infowars application.