Last updated on June 11, 2019 12:15am EDT
It’s been nearly five months since Roku gave into leftist outrage to ban Infowars from it’s platform on January 15th, 2019. Roku is the #1 seller of TV Streaming boxes worldwide. They are a monopoly in this space, just as well as Google, Facebook, and Twitter are. It’s time we directly demand that they stop censoring free speech.
Roku can be reached by phone at 408-556-9391, by fax at 408-364-1260 and by email at email@example.com or by sending a letter directly to Stephen Kay, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Roku, Inc. 150 Winchester Circle, Los Gatos, CA 95032.
I called Roku several times over the course of a month, leaving messages on their voicemail box. My call was returned on April 2nd, 2019. I spoke to Alex from Roku’s legal team. After about a ten minute call, Alex closed by describing Infowars as a “toxic” brand and advised my software development company to not associate with them. I balked and told him it was a sad day in America to see corporations giving into the demands of ideologues.
“It didn’t feel like it would be a good fit for us or our users to keep the app on the platform.”-Alex from Roku
Alex said that “Only in the past few years have we seen cases where people were demanding content be taken down for political reasons.” He gave the NRA TV App as an example which was targeted by activists following the Parkland High School shooting in Feb 2018. Alex referred me to Section 20 of their developer agreement citing reputational risk and concerned third parties. Of course Infowars did nothing to suddenly deserve this, the script was written by the fake outrage mob long ago and simply re-used.
My Roku developer account was banned in February, about a month after I re-uploaded the banned app. My view was that being on the App Store is different from being a private channel. For example, there are adult content apps allowed as private channels, but not available in the App Store. When I challenged Alex on this, he maintained that Roku didn’t want the app on their platform at all. He explained that I was treated as if I was publishing copyrighted material when I got banned. After I agreed to not re-upload the app, they agreed to restore my developer access. I obliged so I could side-load the app onto my own devices to at least continue developing the app and use it myself. You can still side-load the Infowars App onto your Roku using Developer Mode with a simple zip file. Roku doesn’t condone this, and quite frankly I don’t give a damn what they think.
It is important to understand that the reason people continue to be banned from these media platforms is largely due to their susceptibility to public shaming. Sleeping Giants targeted the Infowars Roku App on Twitter by relentlessly tweeting @RokuSupport, while countless other “news organizations” wrote articles shaming Roku by using the Sandy Hook school shooting narrative involving Alex Jones. The charade went on for at least 11 hours. I recommend you to review sleeping giants’ twitter feed, (link above) as they have an international operation spanning seven major countries; you can see the countless attacks they levy daily at their political enemies! These people must be stopped.
There’s only two ways to defeat these harassing “activists”, in many cases paid-trolls and writers. One is via regulation of the companies they are harassing (guarantee free speech), the other is by fighting back with the exact same tactics. We need people to write articles exposing these companies, demand boycotts over what they have done to us. I can nearly assure you that they were leaving voicemails for Roku’s legal team on January 15th, just like I had to do later on. I encourage you to call them and flood every communications channel I have provided above. Make it clear that you will not be using your Roku until they restore Infowars.
Although Roku sells more TV boxes than any other company, they make all of their revenue from content purchases and ad revenue. Roku makes money on nearly every advertisement that plays on their system. They are also selling your usage data. Roku’s stock price has more than doubled since they banned Infowars as it moved from $44 to $101 per share as of writing. It seems they are either getting a lot of investment after proving their allegiance to investors, or their rollout of the embedded TCL TVs in December 2018 is starting to pay off. Either way we must pressure them, and as they become a monopoly we must demand that Congress hold them accountable for their censorship.
In some cases we need to educate others on how to avoid using these services. We can hit at the heart of their revenue generation with tools like Ad Blockers and DNS Sinkholes, but we need wide-scale adoption. Stay tuned for additional articles on this subject.