Apple CEO slams social media in Facebook fight

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on January 29, 2021 - Duration: 02:18s

Apple CEO slams social media in Facebook fight

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook on Thursday criticized polarization and misinformation on social media, intensifying a conflict between the iPhone maker and Facebook.

This report produced by Chris Dignam.

Apple CEO slams social media in Facebook fight

Escalating a conflict between tech titans Apple and Facebook, Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered a blistering takedown of social on Thursday, blasting apps that he argued collect too much personal information and prioritize "conspiracy theories and violent incitement simply because of their high rates of engagement." "At a moment of rampant disinformation and conspiracy theories juiced by algorithms, we can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good engagement - the longer the better - and all with the goal of collecting as much data as possible." Cook's comments at the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference did not refer to Facebook by name, but the two companies have been in a high-profile dispute.

Apple is preparing to implement privacy notifications that Facebook said would disrupt its ad-supported apps, and warned investors on a Wednesday earnings conference call that Apple's impending privacy changes would inflict "significant ad targeting headwinds in 2021." Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg accused Apple of using its dominant platform position to "interfere with how our apps and other apps work." In his remarks Thursday, Cook also took aim at social media practices that he said undermine public trust in vaccines and encourage users to join extremist groups.

"It is long past time to stop pretending that this approach doesn't come with a cost - of polarization, of lost trust and, yes, of violence.

A social dilemma cannot be allowed to become a social catastrophe." In response to Cook's remarks, Facebook said in a statement that it believes "Apple is behaving anti-competitively by using their control of the App Store to benefit their bottom line at the expense of app developers and small businesses."

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