Apple CEO Tim Cook is only too proud to ban people from his platforms. Not only is he proud to do it, but he also considers it something along the lines of a holy crusade.
While accepting the first ever “Courage Against Hate” hate award from the Anti-Defamation League, Cook wanted to make it clear that people with white supremacist messages were not welcome on his platform and that ridding online places of people like these is a moral responsibility that is a sin not to undertake.
“We only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division, and violence: You have no place on our platforms,” Cook said. “You have no home here.”
“If we can’t be clear on moral questions like these, then we’ve got big problems,” Cook added. “I believe the most sacred thing that each of us is given is our judgment, our morality, our own innate desire to separate right from wrong. Choosing to set that responsibility aside at a moment of trial is a sin.”
Cook also took the time to take a shot at conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and how Apple banned his show from their stores.
“As we showed this year, we won’t give a platform to violent conspiracy theorists on the App Store,” Cook said. “We believe the future should belong to those who use technology to build a better, more inclusive, and more hopeful world.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook suggests it's "a sin" to not ban certain people from social media and technology platforms: "We only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division, and violence: You have no place on our platforms. You have no home here." pic.twitter.com/gO5qB6bBuO
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 4, 2018
As the Daily Wire, who released the initial report, noted about Cook, the Apple CEO is also on record supporting China’s “cyber-sovereignty” at the The World Internet Conference. Cook’s keynote speech included praise for China’s Orwellian system, which encourages governments to take full and total control of the internet and added that the system of control was “is a vision we at Apple share.”
As the Daily Wire reported, internationally recognized attorney Harmeet Dhillon finds this kind of willing censorship deplorable and noted that companies like Apple have been hiding behind the Communications Decency Act, Sec. 230, which protects platforms from being responsible for what its users publish. Dhillon notes that Apple is itself a publisher, and has been hiding behind the law in order to form something of a monopoly:
In a statement to The Daily Wire, Dhillon said: “Social media companies and their big tech enablers have been fattening themselves at the expense of traditional media and consumers behind the shield of the now-outmoded CDA 230 immunity, which provided a nascent industry with cover to develop — cover that has now allowed them to eclipse their traditional media peers, and which has allowed them to drive many media companies out of business through social media dominance of digital advertising.”
“Apple makes a substantial amount of its revenue as an app platform for applications that enjoy outmoded immunity,” Dhillon continued. “It’s high time that CDA 230 be re-evaluated and adapted to the current market realities, where all media companies should operate under the same rules. Moreover, it is past time for the DOJ’s Antitrust Division to carefully examine the negative impacts of monopoly/duopoly power in certain markets, before social media companies complete their near-total dominance over the digital advertising, online media, and information search markets.”
Legalistics aside, Cook is well within his rights to ban whoever he wants from his private platform. The only problem is that Cook seems to be very selective in what he considers to be sinful not to ban.
For instance, the hate preacher Louis Farrakhan still has his app, the Nation of Islam, up in the Apple store. Farrakhan is a rabid and open anti-semite who has compared Jewish people to termites.
If Cook considers it sinful to not take action against those who use hateful and dangerous rhetoric against other races or religions, then Cook is a sinner’s sinner.