CBS interview: Tim Cook talks REJI projects, Parler possibly returning to the App Store, goals for 2021

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Following a teaser clip of the interview yesterday, CBS This Morning aired its full interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook today. Cook joined Gayle King to talk about Apple’s new Racial Equity and Justice Initiative announcements, the decision to boot Parler from the App Store, and more.

On Parler:

Alongside similar decisions by Google and Amazon, Apple made the decision last week to remove the right-wing social network Parler from the App Store. Cook explained that Parler has issues around moderation, and that if the company chooses to implement a moderation system, it could come back to the App Store.

Cook: “Parler has some issues with moderation. There are some incitements to violence examples on there. They need to step it up on the moderation. Our hope is that they do that and get back on the store.”

King: “So they could get back on the store? They could?”

Cook: “Yes. We suspended them. We did not ban them.”

King: “The CEO, as you know, is raising issues about his right to the first amendment. What do you say about that concern?”

Cook: “We have terms of service for our App Store, and some of those terms of service he’s in violation of. All we’re asking for, Gayle, is that he meets the terms of service.”

But in addition to Apple removing Parler from the App Store, the service was also dropped by its hosting company Amazon. While Parler has since found a new host, the future of the service remains unclear.

On the motivation behind Apple’s Wednesday REJI announcements:

When asked by King about what prompted him to “pay attention to systemic racism,” Cook pointed to many examples throughout his childhood:

“Clearly, I think anybody that was alive in the periods of time that I’ve been alive in the 60s and 70s, and growing up in that period, you first-hand witnessed it. When I was five years old, John Lewis was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. When I was eight years old, the riots at Stonewall happened. Both of these changed the course of time and changed the course of my life. “

“When you either experience those sort of things or read about those things, and then apply them to what you’re seeing today, there was systemic racism, there is systemic racism. It’s not gonna go away unless we do something about it.”

He also talked specifically about the insurrection that occurred at the United States Capitol last week:

“It was a very sad and shameful day. Probably like you, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing either. I felt like I was in some other form of reality or something. It really affects you here (gestures to heart).”

“I think it’s key that people be held accountable for it. This is not something that should skate. This is something we’ve got to be very serious about, and understand, and then we need to move forward.”

Finally, Cook was asked about his goals for Apple and his goals for the United States in 2021:

For me, it’s always the same. Whether what year it is, it’s to do as much as I can to help other people and enrich their lives. That’s Apple’s goal. For the country, I hope that we enter a stage in our country where we’re back to bipartisanship.”

Lisa Jackson

Apple VP Lisa Jackson also joined CBS This Morning to talk about Apple’s newest Racial Equity and Justice Initiative announcements, including the new Propel Center in Atlanta.

“HBCUs have a history of turning out the leaders in our community. The Propel Center will be a place for all HBCU students and the surrounding community. It’s a place for Apple and other companies to plug in to the HBCU talent pool. We know that the talent is already there, we know that these students are trying to do what every student does: propel themselves to a better future and a better life.”

You can watch the full clip form CBS This Morning Below, which also includes more comments from Jackson and Cook, below. More details about Apple’s REJI announcements can be found in our full coverage right here.

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