Apple CEO Tim Cook to talk Parler removal, free speech on Fox News

Apple CEO Tim Cook will sit down with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace on Jan. 17 to discuss content moderation, free speech, and the company’s removal of Parler from the App Store.

Fox News announced the interview with a pair of teaser clips released on Friday. In one clip, Wallace asks Cook how Apple decides to “balance free speech with objectionable content.” The Apple chief executive responded by saying that it doesn’t consider incitement to violence free speech.

“What about the argument that by taking Parler off Apple, in addition to what other companies are doing, that you’re just driving these people, these views further underground?” Wallace asked Cook.

In response, Cook said that they’ve only suspended Parler from the App Store, and that if their content moderation policies are updated, it can return to the marketplace.

Cook also downplayed the idea that Big Tech is a monolithic entity. He stated that there are several companies that do different thing. Apple, he added, is “always trying to do the right thing.”

When asked about whether major technology companies are restricting free speech in general, Cook points out that the App Store is a private platform with its own rules.

“We have an app store that has about 2 million apps in it. And we have terms of services for these apps, ” Cook responded. “We obviously don’t control what’s on the internet, but we’ve never viewed that our platform should be a simple replication of the internet. We have rules and regulations and we just ask that people abide by those.”

Apple purged Parler from the App Store because it was used to “plan, coordinate, and facilitate” the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol. Other services, like Google and Amazon Web Services, also followed suit.

On Friday, Apple and Google also took social media platform Wimkim — another service billing itself as an “uncensored — off their respective app marketplaces.

Earlier in January, Cook told “CBS This Morning” that anyone involved in the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol should be “held accountable.”

The full Fox News interview is slated for 9 a.m. Eastern Time on Sunday.

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