Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed white supremacists and “dangerous conspiracy theorists” today, reiterating that hateful content will not have a home on Apple platforms.
Cook received the first “Courage Against Hate” award from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and he used his time onstage to talk about the company’s commitment to preventing hate speech from spreading.
“At Apple, we believe technology needs to have a clear point of view. This is no time to get tied up in knots. We only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division, or violence: You have no place on our platforms. You have no home here. From the earliest days of iTunes to Apple Music today we have always prohibited music with a history of white supremacy. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. And as we showed this year, we won’t give a platform to violent conspiracy theorists. Why? Because it’s the right things to do.”
“Violent conspiracy theorists” refers to Alex Jones’ Infowars, which was removed from Apple’s App Store earlier this year. Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO, specifically mentioned Jones’ removal from the platform as a key moment in fighting back against hateful content, noting that Apple’s decision to remove Infowars led to its removal from other platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
Much of Cook’s keynote presentation at the ADL’s “Never is Now” conference in New York City focused on the moral guidelines by which Apple operates. Cook reiterated multiple times that although Apple is a technology company, he understands that its mission goes far beyond designing hardware.
“Apple is a technology company, but we never forget the devices we make are imagined by human minds, built by human hands, and meant to improve human lives,” Cook said. “I worry less about computers that think like people and more about people that think like computers. Technology should be about human potential. It should be about optimism.
“We believe the future should belong to those who view technology as a way to build a more inclusive and hopeful world.”