Fake news is “killing people’s minds” according to Apple boss Tim Cook, who is urging the Government to launch a public information campaign to counteract the problem.
“As technology companies, all of us need to create some tools to help us in diminishing the volume of fake news,” said Mr. Cook as he speaks with the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
In the recent months, CEOs from leading tech companies such as Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook have openly criticized the trend, though Cook’s comments are termed to be much more frank.
Mr. Cook said that people’s minds are being killed by hoaxes and made-up stories. He also termed the “fake news” plague as a big problem in many parts of the globe, reports CNN.
“Fake news” is a term that was originally coined with the aim of describing the online stories which are designed by malicious people to deceive their readers. Mostly, these stories are shared on Facebook and other social media platforms with the common expectation of profit generation to their creators. Other times, the “fake news” is essentially propaganda which is created for political purposes.
Before and after the American election, such stories had received widespread attention in the United States and the rest part of the world. Just on Facebook alone, million clicks were won by fictional stories with attractive titles such as “Pope Francis shocked the world, endorses Donald Trump for president”.
Most web suffers finds it very challenging to distinguish between legitimate news sources from fake sources. And that is where technology companies such as apple, Facebook and the rest come in.
While in the Telegraph interview which was part of a multi-day European trip, Mr. Cook complained that most of the tech companies are found in the complaint category as per now and they have not figure out what to do.
Cook also urged for both intellectual and technology solutions.
“We need the modern version of public-service announcement campaign. It can be done quickly if there is a will,” Said Mr. Cook as he speaks to the newspaper.
What Cook described is music to the media literacy advocate’s ears.
“It is almost as if a new course is required for the modern kid, for the digital kid,” added Mr. Cook.
In some schools, there are scattered efforts for teaching media literacy, with a sharp focus on digital skills, but this is by no means universal.
An Apple spokesman confirmed that the company had no further comment regarding Mr. Cook’s interview. He said this when he was questioned if Apple would commit itself to funding a PSA campaign.
The CEO also had a suggestion that tech companies should help to in weeding out fake stories.
Recently, Facebook stated that they would work with fact- checkers in testing “warning labels” that show up when its users share made up stories.