Apple blogger turns on Tim Cook over Parler ban

From Patently Apple’s “Apple & Social Media’s Acts to Suppress Free Speech have been condemned by the ALCU, Putin’s Opposition and more” posted Sunday:

Where was Mr. Cook’s outrage this summer when Black Lives Matter and Antifa were burning down businesses, looting, and beating people, in New York, in Wisconsin, Minneapolis and elsewhere? Not a single word from Mr. Cook that those actions and murders were wrong and shouldn’t have been part of a peaceful protest.

Apple’s CEO took his politics to the next level yesterday by ordering Parler to be banned in an effort to squash free speech in America. This was immediately condemned by the ACLU who warned of “Unchecked Power” after Facebook and Twitter suspended President Trump’s account…

If the EU Commission ever needed a clear-cut case of American Tech companies wielding too much power, this is it. The EU Commission already has the Apple App Store in its crosshairs for being a gatekeeper and the act of censorship could be what they need to justify the App Store being separated from Apple.

My take: I like to think of Patently Apple as a sister site, but I’ve never liked its political bent.

13 Comments

  1. Robert Harris said:
    My take is censorship period is bad. Parler was used by those of all views and was the top free app in the App Store.

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    January 11, 2021
    • John Kirk said:
      Individuals and companies pick and choose the opinions they wish displayed in their homes and businesses. This is proper and necessary. You can stand on your dining room table and read from Mein Kampf if you want, but you can’t do that in your neighbor’s home. They get to determine what is said on their own property.

      Similarly, businesses have to discriminate all the time. They do not allow their premises to be used for messaging they do not approve of. For example, most public stadiums do not allow for the display of signs that promote political points of view during sporting events. And if you go into a Walmart and start to read out loud the contents of Mein Kampf, they have every right to remove you.

      Publishers also need to discriminate. Imagine if every newspaper in the Country had to print every opinion letter sent to them or had to publish every article written by any journalist.

      Social media is a little different. They generally print the opinions of others and do not have content of their own. But certain content has always been prohibited. For example, if you credibly threaten the lives of others, you can, and should, be banned.

      You can disagree with the choices Tim Cook made, but saying censorship is always bad is far too broad a rule. As a general rule, using force to censor the speech of others should almost always be prohibited, while using discretion with regard to one’s own person and property should almost always be permitted.

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      January 11, 2021
  2. John Konopka said:
    The first amendment says the government will not censor your speech. It doesn’t say that other individuals or businesses can’t censor you.

    The Parler app may be gone but I believe it can still be accessed by the web.

    Many CEOs, not just Tim Cook, condemned the acts of sedition we saw last Wednesday. Moreover, I’ve read that corporations are cutting funding to House and Senate Republicans who supported the insurrection. That also is not censorship.

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    January 11, 2021
    • Nicholas Watland said:
      Respectfully disagree John. When Big Tech colludes to silent dissent, there is a problem. Amazon, Google, Apple, Twitter and Facebook are all actively colluding to shut down Parler. Amazon is not allowing Parler to use it’s servers, so Parler can’t be accessed through any means due to this systemic suppression of free speech. It’s amazing to me that so many people on this site applaud this totalitarian effort to silence dissent because it’s supports their point of view.

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      January 11, 2021
    • Hugh Lovell said:
      Parler is no longer accessible on the web because Amazon Web Services shut down their servers at midnight Pacific on Sunday.

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      January 11, 2021
  3. Gregg Thurman said:
    Amazon, Google, Apple, Twitter and Facebook are all actively colluding to shut down Parler

    Via Wikipedia
    “Collusion is a deceitful agreement or secret cooperation between two or more parties to limit open competition by deceiving, misleading or defrauding others of their legal right. Collusion is not always considered illegal. It can be used to attain objectives forbidden by law; for example, by defrauding or gaining an unfair market advantage. It is an agreement among firms or individuals to divide a market, set prices, limit production or limit opportunities. It can involve “unions, wage fixing, kickbacks, or misrepresenting the independence of the relationship between the colluding parties”. In legal terms, all acts effected by collusion are considered void.”

    Describing the actions of Amazon, Google, Apple, Twitter and Facebook as collusion is a stretch of the imagination. It’s far more likely that they were equally appalled by the events of last week, and the calls for continued violence against individuals hosted on Parler’s site, coupled with Parler’s active resistance to site moderation.

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    January 11, 2021
    • Nicholas Watland said:
      So it’s okay for Twitter to give a platform to Chinese officials to spread dis-information and Iranian officials to consistently post content that encourages harm to America and other countries and ethnic groups?

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      January 11, 2021
    • Nicholas Watland said:
      Also, doesn’t it worry you that Big Tech is employing Chinese-like internet tactics?

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      January 11, 2021
  4. Paul Brindze said:
    It is illegal for any of us to actively plan the murder of another human being, whether or not we actually accomplish that murder.

    It appears that at least some of the participants in last Wednesday’s attack did, in fact, plan the abduction and/or murder of the Vice President and Speaker of the House. Also, similar conversations apparently often occur on Parlor. Parlor refuses to moderate any of this.

    For Apple or any other company to refuse to participate in illegal activities is NOT censorship. I would hope we all would speak up to silence and condemn such activities whenever we become aware of them.

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    January 11, 2021
  5. David Emery said:
    Parler has sued Amazon, this article has a summary and more importantly a copy of Parler’s complaint: https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/11/22225072/parler-amazon-web-services-lawsuit-antitrust-twitter-capitol-riot-incitement-moderation I think the antitrust argument is weak, it implies the need to -prove a conspiracy- between Amazon and Twitter. The breach of contract complaint would be a bit more straightforward to resolve.

    The most interesting to my mind is that, when social media companies start actively shutting down content, they can’t make the “we’re just an information utility” argument. It would be kinda funny/ironic if the attacks the Republicans have made on Section 230 turns out to cause the social media companies to do a lot more ‘content editing’ against Right Wing extremist content.

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    January 11, 2021

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