Speaking at Recode’s Code Media conference earlier this week, Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue stated that, given their influence and power, technology companies had a duty to stem the flow of fake news.
While companies such as Apple and Google may not be directly responsible for the generation of clickbait and fake news, Cue affirmed that Apple bore responsibility for its dissemination given the immense popularity of its devices and services, which people use to access content.
“Since the vast majority of news is now being read through devices, and through services that are provided through those devices, then I do think that we all have a responsibility for it,” Cue said.
The term ‘fake news’ gained popular currency during last year’s presidential election when it became apparent that a sizeable contingent of websites dedicated to churning out misinformation about both candidates had arisen.
Last Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that fake news is “killing people’s minds” in an interview with The Telegraph, and called on tech companies to combat the issue.
Cook warned that the current media ecosystem rewarded garnering clicks at any cost and argued that technology companies had not done enough to address these issues. “All of us technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of fake news,” he said.
Though Cue declined to give concrete details on what Cupertino plans to do to address this issue, he pointed to the Apple News service as one area of focus: “When you look at Apple News and where it started,” Cue said, “I want it to be available to everyone. But we also want to make sure the news producers are legitimate … We’re very concerned about what’s news items and what’s clickbait.”