Apple CEO Tim Cook Slams Facebook for Disinformation ‘Juiced by Algorithms’

Apple CEO Tim Cook said any US privacy legislation should allow consumers to see what data is being collected online and delete it if they choose
Aris Oikonomou/AFP

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently criticized polarization on social media, further intensifying the conflict between Apple and Facebook. According to Cook, “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.”

Reuters reports that on Thursday, Apple CEO Tim Cook criticized polarization and misinformation on social media further intensifying conflict between Apple and Facebook. Delivering his remarks at the Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection conference, Cook criticized apps that he believes collect too much personal data and prioritize “conspiracy theories and violent incitement simply because of their high rates of engagement.”

Cook stated: “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 did not name Facebook specifically, but the two companies have been in a high-profile dispute recently. Apple is preparing to implement privacy notifications that many in the digital advertising industry believe will result in certain users opting to decline to allow the use of ad-targeting tools.

Facebook has since accused apple of anticompetitive conduct as Apple has a growing portfolio of paid apps and its own digital advertising business. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated on Wednesday that Apple has “every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work.”

On Thursday, Cook stated: “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, 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.”

Breitbart News recently reported that the Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland plans to select a former Facebook lawyer as the leader of the Department of Justice’s antitrust division.

Garland reportedly hopes to install Susan Davies, a former facebook lawyer, to lead the antitrust division. Read more at Breitbart News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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