Fake news ‘killing people’s minds’, Apple boss warns

'We are going through this period of time where unfortunately some of the people that are winning are those that spend their time trying to get the most clicks, not tell the most truth' 

11 February 2017, 10:04am
Apple boss Tim Cook has urged governments to launch a public information campaign to tackle the scourge of fake news, which he warned is “killing people’s minds”.

“It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public,” Cook said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. “There has to be a massive campaign. We have to think through every demographic.

“We need the modern version of a public-service announcement campaign. It can be done quickly if there is a will.

It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public. There has to be a massive campaign. We have to think through every demographic... It’s almost as if a new course is required for the modern kid, for the digital kid.”

The scourge of fake news came to the fore in recent campaigns, during which supporters of each side were accused of promoting misinformation for political gain.

“We are going through this period of time right here where unfortunately some of the people that are winning are the people that spend their time trying to get the most clicks, not tell the most truth,” Cook said. “It’s killing people’s minds, in a way.”

“All of us technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of fake news. We must try to squeeze this without stepping on freedom of speech and of the press, but we must also help the reader. Too many of us are just in the ‘complain’ category right now and haven’t figured out what to do.”

He added that a crackdown would mean that “truthful, reliable, non-sensational, deep news outlets” will triumph over fake news, arguing that people don’t want the latter.