“The most valuable company in the world is taking a stand against websites selling apparel and paraphernalia from white nationalists and hate groups,” Ryan Mac and Blake Montgomery report for Buzzfeed. “On Wednesday, Apple confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it had disabled Apple Pay support for a handful of websites that sold sweaters with Nazi logos, T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase ‘White Pride,’ and a bumper sticker showing a car plowing into stick figure demonstrators.”

“Apple’s move to distance itself from these sites comes as a number of technology companies have faced intense scrutiny for enabling the websites or social media accounts of white nationalist and white supremacist organizations. On Monday, both GoDaddy and Google removed the registration capabilities of The Daily Stormer, a white supremacist blog, in response to its posts about the events in Charlottesville.,” Mac and Montgomery report. “Apple removed Apple Pay capabilities from little-known sites, including americanvikings.com and vinlandclothing.com, the latter of which sells apparel with Nazi logos. Apple Pay’s ‘acceptable use guidelines’ state that users may not incorporate its payment service into a site that ‘promotes hate, violence, or intolerance based on race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.'”

“Brien James, the owner of americanvikings.com, said he identifies as ‘a civic nationalist’ and ‘pro-white’ and told BuzzFeed News he was unaware his business had even accepted Apple Pay,” Mac and Montgomery report. “James called the site a hobby, and did not seem too worried about losing payments capabilities or the possibility of being taken offline. ‘I don’t know the legalities of free speech on a website or if you own a hosting company… but if you run a business you have a right to decide who or not you do business with,’ James said. ‘If they don’t like me, they don’t have to do business with me.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a message to Apple employees on Wednesday:

Team,

Like so many of you, equality is at the core of my beliefs and values. The events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and I’ve heard from many people at Apple who are saddened, outraged or confused.

What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world.

We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality. I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.

Regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point — that we are all equal. As a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.

I believe Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that. We have always welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world and showed them that Apple is inclusive of everyone. We empower people to share their views and express themselves through our products.

In the wake of the tragic and repulsive events in Charlottesville, we are stepping up to help organizations who work to rid our country of hate. Apple will be making contributions of $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. We will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and September 30.

In the coming days, iTunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the SPLC.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” So, we will continue to speak up. These have been dark days, but I remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. Apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.

Best,
Tim

SEE ALSO:
Apple CEO Tim Cook disagrees with Trump’s response to Charlottesville, donates $2 million to anti-hate organizations – August 17, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook condemns Charlottesville mayhem, says ‘Violence and racism have no place in America’ – August 13, 2017