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Apple's Eddy Cue Talks Free Speech, Hate Speech and NRATVBy Seung Lee
Posted: March 16, 2018 11:06am PDT
Eddy Cue, Apple's head of services -- which include Apple Music, Apple TV and the App Store -- said Apple does not believe all speech should be protected on its platforms, saying "free speech is important but that doesn't mean it's everything."
However, Cue defended Apple's decision to retain the National Rifle Association's online television channel, NRATV, on Apple TV despite an online movement earlier this month to boycott Apple products until Apple removed the channel. Cue, speaking at a panel with CNN's Dylan Byers at the SXSW convention in Austin on Monday, said NRATV did not violate any of Apple's standards.
Cue said Apple's services team upholds rigorous guidelines and reviews every app or show hoping to be included on Apple's platforms.
"From Day 1, we did not want our App Store to be a place where you buy and sell guns," said Cue. "We don't allow apps to buy or sell guns."
Cue said Apple draws the line on speech that promotes hatred or violence, such as a bomb-making app.
When asked about Google and Facebook's open platform policy and how it has led to fake news, Cue said Apple has taken a great deal of responsibility for its platforms and that there is no such thing as a truly free platform.
"Nobody is completely free," said Cue. "There are no pornography on these sites. So people do draw lines on these sites. We do think free speech is very important, but we don't think white supremacy or hate speech is important speech to be out there."
Cue was asked a variety of topics, which ranged from Apple's desire to buy Netflix or Disney, the company's recent foray into creating original television content, and its acquisition of the digital magazine distributor Texture for an undisclosed amount announced just before Cue went on stage.
Cue said Texture will be joining Apple News, and that he hopes to continue to improve Apple News' ability in picking out the best news articles for its users.
"We want the best articles, we want them to look amazing, and we want them to be from trusted sources," said Cue.
Cue also pushed back on the notion that Apple -- after it repatriates hundreds of billions of dollars of offshore cash after paying a one-time sum $38 billion tax because of the recent tax reform bill -- will spend its money to buy a media giant such as Netflix or Disney. Cue emphasized that Apple wants to be in the business of "great storytelling" and that they are "all in" on creating original content.
"Generally in Apple's history, we haven't made large acquisitions," said Cue. "It's that old Wayne Gretzky quote, 'you have to skate to where the puck is going, not to where it is.' "
Apple in recent months has committed to spend at least $1 billion in original content in 2018, signing "La La Land" director Damien Chazelle, actress Reese Witherspoon and director Steven Spielberg to create shows for the Cupertino tech giant.
"We're not after quantity, we're after quality," said Cue. "We don't try to sell the most smartphones in the world, we don't try to sell the most tablets. We try to make the best ones."
© 2018 San Jose Mercury News. Syndicated here under contract with YellowBrix, Inc. All rights reserved.
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