In what is an ironic co-opting of religious terminology, the secular tech mogul made his appeal speaking about “morality,” “sin,” and that which is “sacred.”
Cook, who recently announced that being gay “is God’s greatest gift to me,” said technology companies have a moral obligation to ban certain people and content from social media and digital platforms, and that to not do so is a “sin.”
“My friends, if we can’t be clear on moral questions like these, then we’ve got big problems,” declared Cook. “At Apple, we are not afraid to say that our values drive our curation decisions.”
“I believe the most sacred thing that each of us is given is our judgment, our morality, our own innate desire to separate right from wrong,” he continued. “Choosing to set that responsibility aside at a moment of trial is a sin.”
The Apple CEO offered his religion-tinged remarks while accepting the Anti-Defamation League’s first ever “Courage Against Hate” award in New York City.
Cook made it clear through repetition that the standard for being banned from social media should be opposition to the “values of Apple.”
Invoking the name of holocaust survivor and noted author, Elie Wiesel, Cook explained that Apple has a mandate to “not be indifferent,” which moves Apple “to speak up for the LGBT community,” immigrants, and others.
Anti-Defamation League CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt explained that Cook was receiving the award because he had already banned certain individuals and organizations, including Alex Jones and his conservative news site, Infowars.
“Apple was the first company to remove Alex Jones’s hateful anti-government conspiratorial rants from their platform, and other tech companies, as we know, followed their lead,” said Greenblat.
To some, Cook’s remarks appear to be a thinly veiled warning to conservatives and Christians to brace themselves for exclusion from social media as tech giants begin to wield their own peculiar brand of religious power.
“They understand how much power they have now and know the media won’t challenge them as long as they continue deplatforming their enemy,” tweeted Patrick Courrielche.
They understand how much power they have now and know the media won’t challenge them as long as they continue deplatforming their enemy. https://t.co/6vKAjTzF50
— Patrick Courrielche ���� (@courrielche) December 4, 2018
“Sin is a religious concept,” said John O’Sullivan. “Tim Cook seems to be suggesting that the internet should be censored on explicitly religious criteria. He's making a case that we need a reform to make the internet subject to the First Amendment. Bold, transgressive, theocratic. Where's the ACLU?”
Sin is a religious concept. Tim Cook seems to be suggesting that the internet should be censored on explicitly religious criteria. He's making a case that we need a reform to make the internet subject to the First Amendment. Bold, transgressive, theocratic. Where's the ACLU? https://t.co/m5pTGkfZaO
— John O'Sullivan (@JohnOSullivanNR) December 4, 2018
“Yes Tim Cook, we know you're a paragon of virtue & think (you) have Divine Inspiration & Apple isn't just a business but an instrument of God,” observed Sharon Maclise. “But WE think it’s a sin that (you & your) tech monopoly are not prosecuted under antitrust laws as you should be.”
Yes @tim_cook – we know you're a paragon of virtue & think u have Divine Inspiration & #Apple isn't just a business but an instrument of God. But WE think its a sin that u & ur #tech #monopoly are not prosecuted under ant-trust laws as you should be. https://t.co/h1OAYH8RbL
— Sharon Maclise (@SharonMaclise) December 4, 2018
“If you don’t understand why this is scary you need to research history more,” warned Ben Askren.
If you don't understand why this is scary you need to research history more. https://t.co/VEOEjsUQYL
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 4, 2018
“What Cook apparently means is that it’s morally wrong and a ‘sin’ not to ban viewpoints he doesn’t agree with,” observed American Mirror’s Martin Walsh.