Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has said that antisemitism is “abhorrent” but his firm will continue to advertise on X, despite the Anti-Defamation League’s assertion that Elon Musk is promoting the hate speech on his platform.
Cook won the Anti-Defamation League’s “Courage Against Hate Award” in 2018 but, a fortnight ago, the League accused Elon Musk of promoting anti-Semitism on X, something he denies.
When asked whether Apple should continue to advertise on X by CBS Sunday Morning, Cook said, “It’s something that we ask ourselves. Generally, my view is Twitter’s an important property. I like the concept that it’s there for discourse and there as a town square. There’s also some things about it I don’t like!”
He then went on to say that anti-Semitism was “abhorrent” and that there was “no place for it.”
Cook was talking to CBS in Texas, with the state having recently passed strong anti-abortion, anti-trans and anti-gay legislation.
Host Dickerson said, “When we last talked, you said, ‘I believe that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, and that all roads lead to equality.’ How should people think about your commitment to equality and the politics of Texas, which would seem to be clashing with that?”
Cook replied, “There will always be cases, John, where we’re either selling or operating in a place where we have a difference of opinion on something. But I’m telling you from our heart, we believe in treating everyone with dignity and respect. And that’s how we show up as a company. We believe in being a part of the community, and trying to advocate for change, rather than pulling the moat up and going away.”
He also said that the company’s efforts in clean energy did not amount to “virtue signalling” and “I don’t do virtue signalling, at all. I don’t believe in it. We want to do hard work.”
Since acquiring Twitter and rebranding it to X, the company has lost up to 50 per cent of its advertising revenue as agencies and brands pulled their funding due to the site becoming increasingly brand-unsafe. It has since launched new tools to try and rectify advertiser concerns, though it is presently unclear whether these have had much takeup among advertisers.
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