Saying “hate is a cancer,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees of the Silicon Valley tech giant that the company is making $1 million donations each to two anti-hate organizations in the wake of the deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Wednesday, Cook wrote an email to employees that was obtained by BuzzFeed. In it, he addressed President Trump’s reaction to Charlottesville. Trump had blamed “many sides” for the violence that killed one woman and injured 19 others over the weekend.
“I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights,” Cook wrote. “Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”
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The Apple CEO said the company will also match employee donations “two-for-one” to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, plus other human rights organizations. In addition, Cook said: “In the coming days, iTunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the SPLC.”
Apple has also pulled Apple Pay support from websites that sell white supremacist and Nazi apparel, BuzzFeed reported. That move comes as PayPal and crowdfunding sites have begun to turn off the online-funding spigot to hate groups.
Other tech companies have also taken action: Facebook is taking down pages of white supremacists and hate groups. San Francisco-based CloudFlare, which provides internet security services for websites, stripped a neo-Nazi site of its services. That site, the Daily Stormer, had published an article that slammed Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed Saturday by a car that drove into counter-protesters at the Charlottesville white supremacist rally. GoDaddy and Google kicked the site off their domain registries after that article.
As more tech companies police content, they’re likely to get even more flak for their politics. For example, Google is still dealing with fallout from its firing of James Damore, the engineer who wrote a 10-page manifesto blasting the company’s diversity push and saying that it quashes conservative views.
In his email, Apple’s Cook seemed to tried to head off potential criticism.
“Regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point — that we are all equal,” he wrote.
Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook watches as members of the media check out the new MacBook Pro at a press event held at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino on Oct. 27, 2016. In the wake of the deadly violence at Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, 2017, Cook says Apple is contributing $2 million and matching employee donations to anti-hate and other human rights groups. (Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group)
Tags: Apple, Charlottesville, Donald Trump, Tim Cook, white supremacists