Fake News On Social Media A Major Problem, Says Apple CEO

Apple CEO Tim Cook is less than impressed with how social media has been used as a weapon to spread fake news.

As Facebook, Twitter and Google testify before the Senate and House Intelligence committees this week about Russia’s use of their social platforms to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Cook, in an interview with Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News, said fake news is a major issue no matter where it comes from.

Cook said that although social media companies have “learned a lot along the way,” the spread of misinformation remains a problem, although not quite the problem people might imagine

“I don’t believe the big issue are ads from foreign governments. I believe that’s like .1 percent of the issue,” Cook said. “The bigger issue is that some of these tools are used to divide people, to manipulate people, to get fake news to people in broad numbers … to influence their thinking. This to me is the No. 1 through 10 issue.”

Cook also talked about tax reform, saying the government must do more to encourage large companies like Apple to bring their foreign-earned cash

“I believe that tax reform is sorely needed in this country. We don’t focus on the individual side, but for corporations, we think we have a pretty deep perspective on this,” Cook said. “The biggest issue with corporations in this country is that if you earn money outside of the United States, which most companies increasingly will, the only way that you can bring it into the U.S. and invest is if you pay 40 percent. And this is kind of a crazy thing to do. So what do people do? They don’t bring it to the United States.”

Cook also talked about the success of the iPhone and its Face ID feature. To watch the entire interview, check out the video below.

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