The abundance of fake news online is “killing people’s minds,” according to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Cook, while travelling in the U.K. last week, sat down for an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph to talk about the prominence of fake news, a phenomenon that he described as successful, because certain sites and content providers value clicks over truth.
“All of us technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of fake news,” he said, adding that the effort cannot stop there.
“It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public. We need the modern version of a public-service announcement campaign. It can be done quickly if there is a will.”
Any movement against fake news must be a careful one, to protect free speech and the rights of the press, Cook said, but added that, ultimately, by quashing the proliferation of fake news “truthful, reliable, non-sensational, deep news outlets will win.”
The issue of fake news came to the forefront last fall during the U.S. presidential race. Some critics even say phony news stories and reports played a role in the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States, although others scoff at the notion.
Facebook was criticized in November for a lack of action on eradicating fakes news from its platform, while Google was castigated for bogus stories appearing prominently in its search results. Both companies have since taken action. Google now prevents fake news providers from using its ad-selling software while Facebook bars bogus content providers from using the social network’s advertising network. Both moves effectively prohibit fake news providers from generating revenue from clicks on their content.
It will be interesting to see what tools Apple comes up with to combat the issue as well as what other technology and media companies will get on board.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.