Tim Cook's message to hatemongers: 'You have no place on our platforms'

Key Points
  • In accepting the Anti-Defamation League's Courage Against Hate award, Apple CEO Tim Cook says tech companies must stand by their values and remove content that promotes hate and white supremacy.
  • Apple was the first of a wave of tech companies to remove content from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from its platforms earlier this year.
  • Cook says Apple is "not afraid to say that our values drive our curation decisions."
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the 2018 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) at the San Jose Convention Center on June 4, 2018 in San Jose, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered a message to white supremacists in a speech in front of the Anti-Defamation League: "You have no place on our platforms."

Cook delivered the speech while accepting the Courage Against Hate award Monday. As Apple CEO, Cook has taken action to combat hate speech on the company's platforms. The company was the first of a wave of tech companies to remove content by Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has spewed inaccurate theories such as that the Sandy Hook school shooting massacre was a hoax.

"At Apple, we believe that technology needs to have a clear point of view on this challenge," Cook said, referring to how to handle the influx of hate on tech platforms. "There is no time to get tied up in knots. 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."

Since the early days of iTunes, Cook said, Apple has banned music that promotes messages of white supremacy.  and the company is still willing to prohibit conspiracy theorists. In the past, Cook has been a vocal critic of tech peers like Facebook, which has been criticized for being slow to remove misinformation on its platform. When asked in an interview about how he would deal with Facebook's data privacy issues if he were in CEO Mark Zuckerberg's shoes, Cook infamously said, "I wouldn't be in this situation."

"If we can't be clear on moral questions like these, then we've got big problems," Cook said in his ADL speech. "At Apple, we are not afraid to say that our values drive our curation decisions. And why should we be? Doing what's right, creating experiences free from violence and hate, experiences that value creativity and new ideas is what our customers want us to do."

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