Tim Cook: Hateful views 'have no place' on tech platforms

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday said he believes it is "right" and "moral" for technology companies to block hate speech and violent conspiracy theories from their platforms.

"At Apple, we believe that technology needs to have a clear point of view on this challenge," Cook said at an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) conference on Monday afternoon.

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At the conference, Cook accepted the ADL's first "Courage Against Hate" award, geared towards private sector leaders "dedicated" to fighting bigotry. He was also the conference's keynote speaker.

"That’s why we only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence: You have no place on our platforms," Cook said during his keynote address. "You have no home here."

"My friends, if we can’t be clear on moral questions like these then we’ve got big problems," he said, an apparent dig at other tech giants that have struggled to combat criticisms that they are slow to address harassment and hate speech.

Apple, YouTube and Twitter have all been accused of anti-conservative bias over their removal of far-right and conspiracy-minded figures from their platforms, such as this year's ban on Alex Jones and Infowars.

Leaders including Twitter chief Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have publicly stumbled over the issue, leading to claims that the tech companies are amplifying hateful rhetoric.

Zuckerberg in an interview over the summer said it is sometimes difficult to discern between harmful falsities and posts in which people share their unpopular opinions.   

"At Apple, we are not afraid to say that our values drive our curation decisions, and why should we be?" Cook said during the conference. 

Cook said that Apple is striving to "not be bystanders as hate tries to make its headquarters in the digital world." 

Twitter is reportedly working on a "dehumanization" policy, which would ban objectification and hatred against marginalized populations on its platform, while Facebook has fought to prevent hateful content from spreading.