Apple CEO Tim Cook: Hateful views ‘have no place’ on tech platforms

“Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday said he believes it is ‘right’ and ‘moral’ for technology companies to block hate speech and violent conspiracy theories from their platforms,” Emily Birnbaum reports for The Hill. “‘At Apple, we believe that technology needs to have a clear point of view on this challenge,’ Cook said at an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) conference on Monday afternoon.”

“At the conference, Cook accepted the ADL’s first ‘Courage Against Hate’ award, geared towards private sector leaders ‘dedicated’ to fighting bigotry,” Birnbaum reports. “‘That’s why we only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence: You have no place on our platforms,’ Cook said during his keynote address. ‘You have no home here.'”

“‘My friends, if we can’t be clear on moral questions like these then we’ve got big problems,’ he said, an apparent dig at other tech giants that have struggled to combat criticisms that they are slow to address harassment and hate speech,” Birnbaum reports. “‘”At Apple, we are not afraid to say that our values drive our curation decisions, and why should we be?’ Cook said during the conference. Cook said that Apple is striving to ‘not be bystanders as hate tries to make its headquarters in the digital world.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: While we do not disagree with Apple’s right to do whatever they please with their platforms, we do believe that ultimately shining a spotlight on hateful speech is more effective (for thinking people) than trying to hide it. (The problem, as always, is non-thinking people, not to mention the issue of who gets to define “hate speech” and how broadly.)

It’s “keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” not “keep your friends close and go Orwellian on your enemies.”

In darkness, like mushrooms evil grows, but sunlight obliterates hate.

SEE ALSO:
Apple CEO Tim Cook to receive Anti-Defamation League’s 2018 Courage Against Hate Award on December 3rd – November 30, 2018

68 Comments

      1. It is not censorship for a private individual or corporation to refuse to promote a view with which they disagree. It is not inconsistent to say that I would defend to the death your right to say things I find obnoxious, and still say that I would defend to the death my own right not to be forced by the government to assist you in saying those things.

        Cook is refusing to help people spread messages that conflict with the brand that Apple Inc. is trying to project. I figure that The Trump Organization would equally oppose any effort to require posting pro-liberal signs on Trump Tower. That isn’t censorship, and it has no implications for the First Amendment

        1. “It is not censorship for a private individual or corporation to refuse to promote a view with which they disagree.”

          Conflation grande! It is nothing other than “censorship” by a private liberal company to CENSOR conservative speech! The sad part is it’s perfectly legal…

            1. The topic is CEO Cook appointing himself as the SUPREME ARBITER of what is hate speech and what is not. Disturbing because it will be filtered through his liberal politically correct lens and has the potential for BIAS.

              Cook’s HYPOCRISY on the topic is well known around here. Hundreds of posts pointing out when was the last time Cook banned liberal hate speech? You know, the hate filled leftist movies, music, comedians, images, et. al. that TARGET conservatives, rural denizens, religion, gun owners and the rest of leftist stereotypes.

              Obvious you do not have a problem with Apple’s double standard because it supports your politics and it is soooo wonderfully legal, how nice and convenient.

              Can’t say enough about MDN’s superlative take pointing out the slippery slope threatening free speech. It may be legal, but it’s just not right for anyone.

              Recommend other good fair minded citizens in light of censorship from Apple to vote with their pocketbooks and make your views known…

    1. Censoring – deciding what is “unacceptable” for distribution – is nothing new in human society. It happens through government and religion and other institutions/groups for various reasons and purposes. In some cases, censorship serves a perceived public good, such as setting guidelines for content on broadcast TV, for example. While I am not a prude, it makes sense to me to show some restraint on the type of video content that is readily available to our youth.

      As a result, I consider hysterical screams about “censorship” to be red herring and slippery slope types of logical fallacies intended to divert attention from the actual matter at hand. The topic of discussion is Apple’s corporate policies relative to content on their company-owned websites. You may be concerned about systemic political censorship or other types of alleged abuses, real or perceived. But that is a separate, although potentially related, matter.

      As far as MDN’s take goes, there is a difference between “…shining a spotlight on hateful speech…” and participating in its dissemination. I agree that one should be knowledgeable and aware of issues. But I don’t have to immerse myself in hate products to do it, nor do I welcome the potential negative influence of these products on the more vulnerable people in our society.

      MDN is correct that a key issue is “…who gets to define “hate speech” and how broadly.” In this case, this is a corporate website under corporate control. If someone would seek to force Apple to carry certain content that Apple has deemed objectionable, then that could be perceived as a type of reverse censorship – what must be disseminated rather than what must not be disseminated.

      As with most social issues, the issue of censorship is complex and nuanced. The lazy and ignorant satisfy themselves with an overly simplified approach to these complex issues. The rest of us are willing to do the challenging work of openly debating these issues in an effort to reach a fair and reasonable solution that best meets the needs of society, and that will hopefully stand the test of time and evolve gracefully.

      1. While I applaud Apple’s stance on controlling what is acceptable/unacceptable in their own Services, extending that control to 3rd party Apps at this time will just give fuel to the proponents of having 3rd party iOS App stores where such censorship by Apple would not exist.

      1. Yes but not for this.

        Your church enforces its decency standards according to its own anonymous author guidebooks, and you never complain about that. Apple’s closed iOS is no different. Apple loves to have unilateral control over its walled garden of eden, so iOS users have to bow ro high priest Cook. You bought your way into a NON personal computing platform, so learn to live with it or leave. Same thing with social networks. Fuckerberg will randomly enforce his standards when he wants. The sheep who were dumb enough to corral themselves to FB mostly don’t care. Convenience and consumerism feel clise enough to freedom for the weak minded.

        The Mac and Windows are open personal computing platforms. You can install and distribute software on them. Or is a MacBook too complicated and heavy for the current whiny Apple user base?

        1. I will give you a strong nod for consistency. No one is forcing Apple to do anything, on their property. The device, however, is the owner’s property.

          Can the Church tell me what I can and cannot do, in any binding way, with my personal Bible, in my own home?

        2. “Yes but not for this.”

          Glad you agree. After seven years of neglect, killing off popular products, serious Mac mismanagement et. al. — the reason no longer matters because there are too, too, many…

  1. So I wonder if an example of ‘hate’ speech would be-
    “I am against illegal immigration”
    but ‘free’ speech is
    “Republicans are racist”

    ‘Hate’ speech
    I am a nationalist and proud of my country”
    ‘Free’ speech
    “Republicans are racist, fascist”

    ‘Hate’
    I don’t believe in gay marriage
    ‘Free’
    “Republicans are racist, fascist homophobes”

    Yeah, twitter has shown how this will work out….

          1. Or Hezbollah or Shining Path or Chechen Rebels?

            Answer: None of those groups have any real power in America, especially when compared to the cover given to Antifa by college campuses, municipal governments and most of the American media.

            When you have that trifecta legitimizing a radical hate group which shuts down any opposing views by use of violence and intimidation, the others only WISH they had that much influence.

            1. Look, we agree on censorship. Ranking violent assholes is another matter. If you’re saying that White Supremacists are not even at the level of Hezbollah in the US, that’s flat out BS.

            2. Apparently you have no idea where much of Hezbollah’s money and power comes from and how they have infiltrated many US Mosque.

              It’s too easy for the Left to scream white supremacy every time a discussion comes up. I would never claim there isn’t a lot of idiots with those old KKK beliefs (and they are not of any one political party, another myth) but they enjoy absolutely ZERO sympathy from any major schools, media, towns, churches, governments, or any other imaginary ‘hotbed’ of racism imagined by the Left. They are completely cutoff from the mainstream in America. You will never see a sympathetic story about them regardless of their opinion on any particular issue.

              But the media, colleges and some municipalities are so hateful of the Right they will turn a blind eye to Antifa. Oh sure they will condemn ‘some bad elements’ every time they go to war with ideas they are too simple to tolerate, but the fact is they ALWAYS go out with the intention of destroying and intimidating. That is ALL they do. They can’t tell why with anything more that a chant because they are too sheltered to have ever heard a different view on life.

              This tolerance of brownshirts in the name of fighting what they actually are will not end well if their support isn’t called out applecynic. It the same cover Democrats gave to violence against Blacks for decades.

              The reason white supremacy is a much smaller threat than the left screams (claims) is because they have lost official cover from the Democrats and the Republicans NEVER made their cause a part of their platform.

              White Supremacy is not the threat you want it to be.

            3. According to the FBI
              https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2016/topic-pages/offenders

              By race, ethnicity, and age (Based on Table 9.)
              Race
              In 2016, race was reported for 5,770 known hate crime offenders. Of these offenders:
              46.3 percent were White.
              26.1 percent were Black or African American.
              7.7 percent were groups made up of individuals of various races (group of multiple races).
              0.8 percent (46 offenders) were Asian.
              0.8 percent (45 offenders) were American Indian or Alaska Native.
              0.1 percent (7 offenders) were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
              18.1 percent were unknown.

              Look at all those White Muslims! /s

            4. Well thanks for helping prove my point in two ways.

              First, hate crimes don’t constitute white supremacy, which was the main point I was trying to make (unless a large number were done by members of a group with a political/sociological goal in mind). Actually I consider Antifa to be mostly white and a hate group, so there’s that.

              And second, if this WERE directly proportional to hate groups then explain why Blacks, who make up less than one eighth of the population, contributed to over 25% of hate crimes.

              Should I be more worried about Black Supremacy? Of course not, because I look at more than numbers.

              Again, the biggest threat of Fascism in America is Antifa.
              They are working on an organized and well funded front against free speech, free assembly, freedom of religion and the right to bear arms.

            5. This is why Liberals have a hard time dealing with reality and need safe places.

              You have conflated two issues with numbers that have no meaning for a political view.

              There is no discussing this with you. It’s like telling you your yard is dying because it needs rain and you insist it needs more sun but it goes down every night.

              Good luck with that.

    1. Exactly!

      The problem is and will always be if liberal gatekeepers like Apple, Google, Facebook et. al., define hate speech as party prescribed and politically correct it is certainly a dangerous slippery slope to the First Amendment.

      Gold standard example is shameful snowflake speech codes at Berkeley where the 1960s speech movement was born, now burned, windows smashed and conservatives DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. How open minded while walking over history.

      Bottom line: MDN take is one of the best ever and says it all…

  2. Well, Tim, here is a hate list to start with:

    Bill Nye the Science Guy (no science degree) wants to put people who don’t accept man made global warming as truth in jail.
    Bette Midler – who said she looked forward to seeing President Trump and his family hang. “Hang ’em high” she said.
    Bill Ayers, Barack Obama advisor – Ayers helped blow up building and make plans to kill Americans during his protest days. After being convicted, he said, “we didn’t do enough”.
    Barack Obama – “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” – Hate filled.
    Barack Obama’s Pastor – Sen. Barack Obama’s pastor says blacks should not sing “God Bless America” but “God damn America.”
    Louis Farrakhan – “I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite.” Comparing Jews to termites. That is certainly hateful.
    Hillary Clinton – called Trump supporters “deplorable”. Speaking at a fundraiser in New York City on Friday, Hillary Clinton said half of Donald Trump’s supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables” characterized by “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic” views. Lots of hate there for half the US population.
    Joy Behar – Joy Behar apologized Tuesday, 03/13/2018, after saying that mental illness was the reason why Christians say that Jesus Christ talks to them, in remarks made on her TV show “The View” last month about Vice President Mike Pence. Joy hates Christians. She must be banned.

    That’s a small list. We could add Maxine Waters, who told Democrats to go out in the streets and attack Republicans and “get in their face” and drive them out of public places like restaurants. Certainly Michael Moore and Stephen Colbert, who spew hate all the time against Republicans. They should be banned.

    Apple and Google and Facebook distribute lots of hate in rap music and in carrying the intolerant venom they spew against all Republicans. They must ban themselves.

      1. The First Amendment exists so we don’t have to trust anybody!

        We have the right to praise, we have the right to offend. There are slander and libel laws for false claims.

        I still can’t get over people defending the notion of Apple’s rights over other people’s property. The problem isn’t the “rules of the club”, it’s the mandatory participation in the club.

  3. I am really, really not a fan of this guy. On a closed platform, sure, but I’m sorry, that is not to be decided for all of society by arrogant tech billionaires and ignorant millennials. These douches need to have the bejeezus regulated out of them. All of them. I’d live to see how fast they’d capitulate or not on their ‘ideals’ if they were all paupers.

    1. Irony: demanding government regulation against people who have the power to regulate what’s acceptable on their private services.

      Second irony: the idea that only lack of money (“paupers”) would lead to compromising their “ideals”. Because the people walking the corridors of power and shifting their “ideals” ten times a day depending on which donor is knocking, sure aren’t poor.

  4. Cook is talking about approval criteria for apps offered to Apple’s customers on Apple’s App Store, a closed system that has ALWAYS been curated and had content-based rules. Your Safari browser on iOS can access whatever info or views — “hateful” or not — that you would like to read or watch at any time. If you insist on having an actual app to get to Alex Jones or comparable hate-mongers fon the extreme left — then Android is available to you.

    And if it’s too difficult for you to use your browser

    What Cook actually said was that

    1. You say he’s a hate monger. I say he’s a kook who happens to be correct once in a while. Why do you get to define what is hate. I believe you are the hateful one. Therefore should your commen be removed?

      1. If the content distribution system was owned by theloniousmac, then sure, you could make those choices.

        As a matter of fact, that ends up being a key issue in this discussion. Information is foundational to a democracy. When does the sheer magnitude of ownership, power, or control over media distribution and public discourse begin to pose a potential threat to society if unbounded? There used to be stronger limits on the range of media sources that a person or company could control in a given geographical area. Those restrictions were largely rolled back and the internet has created a whole new set of questions about control over the distribution of information.

  5. Sooner or later the American Government is going to make a move to acquire significant power over the Internet. Think FCC like standards for the Internet, Much like China, the government will decide what is allowed. Thing is, the difference in the Internet and say television or radio, is that the Internet is US (you and I) talking to one another. I believe this is the one thing that the government truly has no desire for.

  6. I’ve certainly had a barrage of insults here at MDN this year, probably more than all the other insults combined from all my time here and not surprisingly from a singular source. These character attacks are attempted bullying, it’s a no brainer for me and I’ve noticed several others arriving at similar observations.

    So I shined the spotlight on that source and asked for our exchanges to cease, to no avail. Got called a liar when I repeated the request, so you get the idea. I shined the spotlight of the situation, privately to MDN, to no avail, not even the professional courtesy of a reply, although my handle shows up as unregistered. I’m not sure if those two things are related but MDN’s silence is a pretty good indication that they are not ready willing or able to do anything about it. Thus the attempted bullying, and attacks upon my character continue and I’ve seen the result of what happens when nothing is done.

    I have not found a clear TOS for MDN. The closest thing I’ve seen is “Users of chat rooms and message boards must follow acceptable standards of behavior when posting messages online.” a somewhat nebulous statement. It certainly allows for the potential of nothing being done.

    Now I’m shining this spotlight in front of the community. Is this what we really want MDN to become, a bully platform where we insult each other back and forth disregarding the richness to be gained by sharing insights on an issue?

    It would have been so much nicer to have dealt with this in the background, professionally but MDN has the right to do whatever they please with this platform, including doing nothing at all. We have to right to support it, try to change it, or leave.

    I’m nowhere near leaving yet, especially not over a name calling bully that MDN has so far utterly failed to deal with.

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
    – Edmund Burke

    1. Out of curiosity, WHY does your handle show up as unregistered? It’s a simple matter to sign in.

      If you believe in it, take responsibility for what you say about it.

      1. Good question, I don’t know why it shows up unregistered now. My original statement should have read: “although my handle now shows up as unregistered.”

        This suddenly happened, ironically when I returned from a two week road trip.

        I did write to MDN about this, hoping for some guidance to address the situation but as I’ve stated, no reply.

        Perhaps I should try to reregister? That’s a good idea, I’ll look into it. Thanks for the feedback.

        1. I wasn’t sure but I noticed that others that I thought were registered weren’t. I’m not a big fan of WordPress and it would not surprise me that something like this happened.

          So it could be that several people were affected. Would be nice to have the details about that situation, especially since I wrote MDN to find out about it. Customer service, what a wonderful concept.

    2. “I’ve certainly had a barrage of insults here at MDN this year”

      Well snowflake, you certainly hurled a “barrage of insults here at MDN this year” leveled against 350 million U.S. citizens calling them terrorists. And post after post you complained about not finding “weapons of mass destruction” over a decade later and another “insult” to our former President George Bush. No to mention your “insults” to President Trump.

      “probably more than all the other insults combined from all my time here and not surprisingly from a singular source.” YOU LIE!!! Dozens of posters here have called you out for your U.S. insults and asked you to STOP.

      Take your self righteous indignation and shove it. Don’t complain about the snow on the neighbors roof when your doorstep is unclean. In other words, what goes around comes around. I thought you posted several times it does bother you? Obviously, you lied again. Whine and cry us a river. 😭

      BTW, as an adult I would NEVER write to MDN to have you banned, nothing we can’t handle. So sorry to read your fragile ego cannot handle it. It’s called FREE SPEECH, please grow up…

  7. If you restrict ANYONE’S speech with the power of the government, eventually someone will restrict YOUR speech with the power of the government.

    If you decide that someone’s opinion is hateful and therefore you can restrict what they say, eventually someone will decide that YOUR opinion is hateful and restrict what YOU can say.

    I may not agree with what you say, but if you’re willing to stand up in public – in other words, NOT ANONYMOUSLY but attributably – and say it, then I will defend your right to do so. Anyone who cannot sincerely say the above should rethink whether or not they should remain a US citizen.

    1. (It should be obvious that dangerous speech, such as inciting to criminal activities, or the classic shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, is not covered by the above.)

      1. Speech in the act f a crime is not protected. Phoning in a drug deal, for instance, is not a free speech issue. It’s a drug law issue. Fire in a crowded theater is reckless endangerment… also not a speech issue.

    1. Why do you think that determining who can use Apple Inc. resources to distribute a message with which the company disagrees is not an “internal issue?” Why do you think that protecting the company’s brand from association with causes the company opposes is just a “social issue?”

      1. Oh, sorry for a short explanation.
        By “internal issues”, I meant various products and other issues Apple is currently facing.
        “Social issues” are fine under normal circumstances but I have always been under the impression that Tim Cook should not “grandstand” on every one of these issues as soon as they were raised. He should pay more attention to the concerns by the marketplace as fast as he sticks his nose in, i.e., isn’t there some priorities he has to pay attention to?
        Does he know if what he is standing is the representation of most of his employees? Or, at least on some issues, is he not using the Apple platform to promote his personal ideas or causes? These what is called SJW postures are becoming a bit too much (for some, including me) and thought they would dilute effectiveness when people thought he was not doing a good job for the company and us. But to each his/her own and YMMV.

      2. This is an important issue and I felt I was not explaining myself well.
        All I am saying is that I did not feel Tim Cook’s stand may be all that genuine.
        For example, when the issue of separation of boys’ and girls’ bathroom issue came up some months ago, Tim Cook was so fast in making his opinion known. I do not think it is a good idea to stand up on every social issue whenever they came up. Firstly, we did not know if it was his personal opinion or if he was expressing it as a CEO of Apple.
        Also, Apple is not the only company that is promoting the cause of some of these issues. Many companies, large or small, have been rather quietly promoting very noble causes, not just verbally.
        Apple always promotes the cause of AIDS for example. They once in a while come up with what they plausibly call a “Product Red” or some such. They raise huge $millions by that, but it is essentially picking customers’ pockets to collect the contribution. If Apple at the same time, donate huge $millions for these same causes, it makes sense and I applaud, but they seldom do as far as I watch from here (I could be wrong). It’s easy to talk particularly when one has a huge platform, but Tim Cook should talk the talk and walk the walk. That’s what I am saying.

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