Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Parler Suspension and Free Speech Unrelated

In an interview, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook defended the iPhone giant's decision last weekend to suspend Parler from its App Store.
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Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report Chief Executive Tim Cook maintained in an interview that the tech giant's decision to suspend blogging and social networking service Parler has nothing to do with free speech.

"We looked at the incitement of violence that was on there [Parler] and we don't consider that free speech and incitement of violence has an intersection," Cook said in a conversation with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. 

Last weekend, the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant pulled the microblogging service from the App Store, saying Apple had "no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity." 

"Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues," Apple said in a statement obtained by TheStreet last weekend.

The app was also knocked off Amazon's  (AMZN) - Get Report cloud-hosting service, Amazon Web Services, last Sunday.

Cook said the app will be back if it makes adequate changes to its moderation techniques. 

"We have only suspended them; if they get their moderation together, they'll be back on there," Cook added.

The iPhone maker also reiterated that it does not control the internet. And Cook said Big Tech is not monolithic. 

"There are several companies; they do different things," Cook said. 

"We have an app store that has about 2 million apps in it. And we have terms of services for these apps.

"We obviously don’t control what’s on the internet, but we’ve never viewed that our platform should be a simple replication of the internet. We have rules and regulations, and we just ask that people abide by those." 

The full interview with Cook will be aired on Sunday, Jan. 17.

Shares of Apple at last check were off 0.6% to $128.09.

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