Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a podcast released Wednesday that Apple is different from other Silicon Valley giants, indirectly targeting Facebook, which shirks its responsibility on issues like misinformation.
“Some of the big issues that are surrounding tech today are the lack of responsibility taken on a platform about what happens,” said Cook. “We clearly take responsibility.”
Facebook, which has increased its criticism of Apple’s policies recently, was likely a thinly-veiled target of Cook’s comments.
Cook’s comments, which did not mention rivals by name, came as Facebook ramps up its criticism of Apple’s policies.
“Some people see Silicon Valley as monolithic. And so in particular, the larger companies they sort of put in one bucket, if you will,” said Cook on the podcast. “Some of the big issues that are surrounding tech today are the lack of responsibility taken on a platform about what happens. We clearly take responsibility. We make tough decisions.”
Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Twitter have faced consistent criticism for their misinformation policies, especially this year relating to the presidential election and Covid-19. While Facebook and Twitter have monitored posts about the election results since Nov. 3, YouTube only just announced Wednesday it would start taking down misinformation on that topic.
[“Yesterday was the safe harbor deadline for the U.S. Presidential election and enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect,” YouTube said in a blog post. “Given that, we will start removing any piece of content uploaded today (or anytime after) that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, in line with our approach towards historical U.S. Presidential elections.”]
“You can be a great amplifier of misinformation, of violence, of a lot of different things out there,” said Cook. “We don’t want to be a part of any of this. We don’t want to be a part of the hate at all. And I feel, by and large, that we’ve avoided that.”
Cook also differentiated Apple from other Big Tech companies on privacy, which he said could be “the most important topic of the 21st century” aside from climate change.
Starting in 2021, Apple will remove apps from the App Store that track users without first receiving their permission. This latest step to add privacy features is putting Apple increasingly at odds with advertisers like Facebook, who say the changes hurt their ability to target ads…
MacDailyNews Take: Tim Cook was certainly referencing Facebook (and, likely, Google). The walls sure are closing in on Facebook!