Tim Cook appeared in an interview during Sway podcast with Kara Swisher of The New York Times. He spoke about the role of tech in the Capitol Hill attack, human curation over algorithms, and regulation for content moderation.
Cook talks about the Capitol Hill attack
When it came to social media and news, Apple News hires human moderators and does not rely on automated algorithms to amplify content. Tim Cook said that the Internet is a dark place, and without curation, you start amplifying the wrong things. Apple definitely amplifies content but makes sure that everything is humanly moderated so it’s a safe and trusted place.
Apple had a social network at one time called “Ping”, which never took off, and that’s where Tim Cook and Kara Swisher shared a laugh, with Kara remembering that she told Steve Jobs back in the day that it sucks. When asked if social media websites were culpable in the Capitol Hill attack, Tim Cook again pointed out the ad targeting and amplification that can be used for misinformation and extremism. He made sure to point out that the people who attacked the Capitol were primarily responsible, but there were other contributing factors that led to the “darkest day” in the history of the United States.
For Section 230, Cook said that the law should be revised but he does not have an answer to what that revision should be. But he was not in favor of suing to resolve issues either.
In terms of data and privacy bills, Cook believed that privacy is one of the biggest issues of the 21st century. He believed that companies would regulate themselves, but it did not happen and he no longer believed that, despite being someone who is not too keen on regulations. Companies kept going outside the acceptable boundaries which changes his mindset on regulations.
The complete podcast episode is embedded below.