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Tim Cook says social media manipulates and divides people

By midian182 · 29 replies
Nov 2, 2017
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  1. On Capitol Hill yesterday, Facebook, Twitter, and Google continued to face tough questions from members of the Senate Intelligence Committee over their roles in the Russian election interference. It’s a serious subject, but Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks that when it comes to social media, there are worse problems.

    Speaking to NBC News anchor Lester Holt, Cook said the way these companies are able to divide and manipulate people, as well as the influencing effect of fake news, are much bigger issues than Russian ads.

    “I don’t believe the big issue are ads from foreign governments. I believe that’s like .1 percent of the issue,” Cook says. “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 so as to influence their thinking. This to me is the No. 1 through 10 issue.”

    According to documents obtained earlier this week, Russia’s targeted campaign messages reached 126 million Facebook users. They also posted more than 131,000 tweets and 1000 YouTube videos.

    Speaking about the congressional hearings, Cook said that social media companies have “learned along the way a lot,” and that “we'll probably learn more in those hearings as to the particulars.”

    “But I do think that technology itself doesn’t want to be good. It doesn’t want to be anything. It’s up to the creator of the technology and the user of the technology to make it good.”

    Moving away from social media, Cook bemoaned the current state of US corporate tax rates.

    “The biggest issue for corporations in this country is if you earn money outside the United States, which most companies increasingly will,” Cook said. “It’s taxed in those countries, by the way, the only way you can bring it into the U.S. and invest, is if you pay 40 percent, for us.”

    “This is kind of a crazy thing to do,” he added. “So what do people do? They don’t bring it to the United States. It’s not good for investment in the U.S. And so this needs to be fixed. In my view, it should have been fixed years ago. But let’s get it done now.”

    Cook has long been forced to defend Apple’s decision to store around $261 billion in overseas tax havens such as Ireland, but unless things change, it looks as if the money won't be coming back to the US. Republicans have, however, been working on a new tax bill that President Trump says will bring “massive tax cuts.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. R00sT3R

    R00sT3R TS Guru Posts: 145   +327

    Zuckerberg & Dorsey are going to have a lot to answer for when they're standing on the smoking rubble of Western democracy, that their 'social media' crap is helping to destroy.
  3. ricbst

    ricbst TS Rookie

    Facebook and Google uses their platforms to spread fake news and block different political opinions. Despite what someone can think, it is healthy to have multiple points of view about politics. And I agree with Cook, this is a very serious matter.
    bobc4012, Agnomen, dms96960 and 2 others like this.
  4. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,894   +1,169

    The problem I have with UNVETTED "social media" is that so called news organization, are more concerned about being FIRST, with the "exclusive", than being correct.
    One glaring example is the Michael Brown "hands up don't shoot" crap. Once it was found out that not only was he not running away from the officer with his hands up, shot in the back, but, was actually charging the officer, shot in the front, the damage had been done. The media, made up this narrative about a "poor gentle giant" along with only showing him in his youth, or in a cap & gown, but never showing the pot smoking, gun toting THUG that he was. The consequences were the town of Ferguson was kind of burned to the ground, and the entire LIE of the BLM was created.
    bobc4012, Agnomen, dms96960 and 2 others like this.
  5. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,517   +1,724

    It is well known that social media is nothing but a massive internet echo chamber. Why people continue to use it is beyond me.

    Put down the facebook, go outside and meet people.
  6. NimbusTLD

    NimbusTLD TS Booster Posts: 99   +80

    Social media is the Reality Distortion Field v2.0
  7. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,146   +1,309

    Weed is not really a big deal.
    TempleOrion, Agnomen and Panda218 like this.
  8. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 539   +294

    Have you seen the growth (pun intended) in that states that legalized it? It appears to be a big deal: big business, big taxes, and maybe big tourism.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  9. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,146   +1,309

    I meant from a moral standpoint.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  10. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 871   +393

    Want the absolute biggest divider? Language; even across same languages meanings often mean something different geographically by even just a small distance. Pauses, tones, context of statement based on history of sayings, etc all can change 1 sentence to mean something completely different dependent on how one interprets what is being said.

    An extreme of recent new: Trump, when he said he will totally destroy NK. Some took NK as representative of the country while others take it as a representation of government. The people that asserted he meant the "entire country" go on to say "Russia hacked the election". Notice the flip of use of a word for a country? In one example, NK was the entire country, while in another it was meant as the government. How you interpreted it depends on your locality, your language, your past use of context in that area etc etc.

    Point: communication is inherently flawed, so try to be as clear as you can, but realize even if what you are saying is correct, you may not be heard correctly as you intend. :)
    TempleOrion likes this.
  11. falsehoods, lies, spin, half-truths, dirt digging for something to release at an opportune time, these are not "multiple points of view". The problems the nation faces, rationally debated, is what is called for.
    Theinsanegamer and wiyosaya like this.
  12. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,713   +2,075

    Tim Cook, chief crApple Enabler, says social media manipulates and divides people

    Title Fixed!
  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,713   +2,075

    Well, some people seem to think that their alternate version of facts is reality.
    The problem is as I see it that some people have no clue what outside is these days. Outside, to them, is in their [put device name here].
    Theinsanegamer likes this.
  14. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,713   +2,075


    The unfortunate thing to me is how low the bar has been set for what qualifies as a problem these days!
    Theinsanegamer likes this.
  15. Skjorn

    Skjorn TS Maniac Posts: 323   +177

    I really wish they would drop the acid bombs. All at once.
  16. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 369   +183

    Good point. Which also has bearing on the infinitely repeated statements about Russia and their messages, tweets, and videos.

    Russia who? "Russia" is a big word. Does it mean Russia government, Putin and those guys? Or does it mean private Russian business interests? Or does it mean Ivan Ivanovitch, loyal citizen, on his own initiative?

    I'd place my bets on the private business interests, who perhaps thought that Trump would be a better bet to help them open up their market. But the U.S. politicians and manipulative media types are of course trying to imply that all the blame falls on Putin.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  17. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 539   +294

    I know but I couldn't resist.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  18. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 546   +297

    Interesting that while these tech giants continue to bicker about security and privacy for their customer, they have increasingly been funneling money into lobbyist groups year over year to keep these questions they are facing right now, off the table. Apple and Google both spending in the hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
  19. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 369   +183

    Well, according to new news items seen earlier tonight it does indicate that the Kremlin is behind the Russia activity. Honestly, I don't know who I should believe. At any rate, spying, hacking, meddling goes on everywhere, by many governments. The U.S. hacks into Russian accounts. Also, remember Radio Free Europe? It still exists.
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    OMG, Tim Cook and I actually agree on something.

    The only thing he left out is how news media is manipulated by government. And that is the string that sways the divide on Social Media.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  21. alabama man

    alabama man TS Guru Posts: 563   +355

    “The biggest issue for corporations in this country is if you earn money outside the United States, which most companies increasingly will,” Cook said. “It’s taxed in those countries, by the way, the only way you can bring it into the U.S. and invest, is if you pay 40 percent, for us.”

    Just make sure every country taxes the 40%, billionaires and big companies can afford that. They will make less money sure but still more than they will ever need. It's strange how billionaires think they should not be taxed the same as everyone else. Problem isn't high taxes in US, it's that it's legal to have money in taxhavens to avoid taxes.
    TempleOrion and Theinsanegamer like this.
  22. If more corporations paid taxes, the government could lower it from 40%
    TempleOrion likes this.
  23. bobc4012

    bobc4012 TS Booster Posts: 99   +41

    How do you know if Michael Brown was or wasn't on it and, if he was, how it may have affected his thinking to challenge that cop? Same if one had too much alcohol. Maybe you were high on it when you posted.
  24. bobc4012

    bobc4012 TS Booster Posts: 99   +41

    The news media is manipulated by the government? Surely, you jest. The MSM does its best to manipulate your thinking and everyone else's to its point of view, which is predominantly to the left. It has been often reported that over 90% reporters, talking heads, the owners, etc. of the MSM are registered Democrats. So you know how the "news" is going to be slanted. The same would be true if it was controlled by Republicans - 90%, the "news" would be slanted to the right. BTW, I put news in quotes because more often than not, it is editorialized rather than reported as straight, factual news.
    Years ago, when the cities of size had 2 (or more) newspapers, you could get opposing viewpoints, today, unless you live in NYC, DC, LA, or some other very large city, you only have one newspaper with one point of view. Today, its all controlled by the left. BTW, I also think the other thing the MSM does it to try and stir up trouble in places like Ferguson and elsewhere. It gives them something to rail upon and "report as news".
  25. bobc4012

    bobc4012 TS Booster Posts: 99   +41

    First of all, "all countries" are going to abide by any such agreement. You see it in the US how the states will fight for a companies HQ or new building or whatever that will bring more people and support industries that will pay taxes. You can't control it in this country, so how do you expect to control it world-wide other than via total dictatorship. If you understood the economy, you would understand that the US has the highest (or one of) corporate rates in the world. As for taxing the billionaires at 40% or higher, the "rich" are paying 80% - 90% of the taxes already. You say the problem isn't high taxes in the US, that its legal to have money in tax-havens, why do you think they have that money there in the first place. It does no good just sitting in some bank vault not earning anything, it is there precisely due to high taxes. Yes, you may find a few who would do anything to avoid paying taxes at all, but that is hard to do as where ever you earn it, its going to be taxed. IMO, the fairest thing to do would be to have a flat tax and no loop holes such as a deduction on your mortgage interest, no personal exemptions, etc. Everyone pays a flat tax of, say, 10% or what it takes to cover government expenditures. That way, everyone pays the same percent of tax on whatever they earn. You earn $30,000, you pay $3000, someone earns $1,000,000, they pay $100,000 - 33 1/3 time more than what you pay. If you want to take it easy on the lower paid workers, you can start taxing anything over, say $20,000 at 10% and then those earning $30,000 would only pay $1000 and the $1,000,000 person would pay $98,000, which is 98 times more than the person making $30,000.

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