MANILA, Philippines – Apple CEO Tim Cook believes technology companies should be more worried about people being influenced and divided by the tools afforded them through social media rather than Russia’s exploitation of social media advertising to influence the 2016 presidential elections.
Speaking with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt on Wednesday night, November 1, Cook called advertising from governments “0.1% of the issue.” (READ: These are the Facebook ads Russia bought to misinform US voters)
Said Cook, “The bigger issue is that some of these tools are used to divide people, to manipulate people, to get fake news to people in broad numbers, and so, to influence their thinking.”
WATCH: Apple CEO Tim Cook goes one-on-one with @LesterHoltNBC. https://t.co/T30BsPJYjr https://t.co/zrkTVMA7dM— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) November 1, 2017
Some 126 million users from Facebook alone – a potentially large portion of the US voting public – possibly saw such content from Russian sources. Facebook also said some 20 million Americans were exposed to Russian-led information campaign on Instagram in 2016.
Aside from the obvious abuse of social media in this regard, Cook is also worried about how some technology companies use their consumers as the product, by harnessing and selling their information for insights. Apple, he said, takes a pro-privacy approach that doesn’t want to make the end-user the product, assuring users that Apple is not quietly collecting a user’s personal data.
Cook added, “It’s up to the creator of the technology and the user of the technology to make it good.” – Rappler.com
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