As expected, Tim Cook took the stage in New York this afternoon to accept the Anti-Defamation League’s first-ever “Courage Against Hate” award. Cook was announced as the recipient of the award last month, when it was also revealed he would serve as the summit’s keynote speaker.
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During his keynote address this afternoon, Cook reaffirmed Apple’s commitment to creating platforms free of hate, violence, and division. As highlighted by The Verge, Cook specifically outlined that people who push such ideals have no place on Apple’s platforms:
“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.
Further, Cook said that Apple has always “always prohibited music with a history of white supremacy,” both in the early days with iTunes and still today with Apple Music. He also addressed Apple’s ban of Alex Jones and Infowars, saying that the company will not give a platform to violent conspiracy theorists:
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.”
Ultimately, Cook acknowledged during his keynote today that while Apple is a technology company, the devices it makes “are imagined by human minds, built by human hands, and meant to improve human lives.”
“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.”
Tim Cook’s comments today echo much of what he has said in past interviews. Last month in an interview with Axios on HBO, for instance, Cook talked about the role of technology in society, specifically addressing how technology can be used for good and evil. Read more about that interview here.