In An Era of Anti-Social Media, Apple’s Values Are Having an Impact

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| Editorial

Apple's values

Apple’s Values Have Impact

Recently, we’ve seen a more visible impact of Apple’s values in the social life of America. Previously, we’ve seen Apple’s values exhibited in the design of its products plus an occasional scolding of a misbehaved app that violated the Apple Store terms of use. That went on for years without much fuss.

Things are changing.

One relatively recent demonstration (2016) of Apple’s values was when Apple (legally) resisted the FBI’s demand that Apple build a compromised version of iOS and deliver it to them as a forensics tool. This was the notorious “San Bernardino shooter” affair.

[DOJ Wants to Force Apple to Comply with iPhone Hacking Order]

I won’t recount that entire, torturous escapade except to note that Apple remained steadfast in its belief in the foolishness of being forced to put backdoors into our iPhones. Apple prevailed in court.

Anti-Social Media

Just recently, Apple took a very visible stand concerning the content of its hosted podcasts. For more on the details of this, listen to the discussion on TMO’s Daily Observations podcast for 2018-08-08. The upshot is that Apple banned those podcasts for a violation of its terms of use, namely hate speech.

Somewhere along the way, some people got the idea that because the internet doesn’t have decency rules, as with TV and radio on the broadcast spectrum, that the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment gives them the right to threaten, bully, fabricate, hate, and engage in obscene behavior. All at the expense of the internet host, whatever that entity is. This is not so.

Apple took a stand to enforce its values as described in its terms of use that define acceptable social behavior. Apple said, “We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.” Respectful.

Apple, as a corporation, has the right to do that.

Apple Original Content

Here’s another example. TMO has been maintaining a log of Apple’s announced original TV content.

[Apple TV Guide: All of the Original Video Content for Apple Music]

One of the things that I’ve noticed about these productions, as each is announced, is that they seem, in general, to be devoid of obviously extreme violence, murder, crime, gunplay, and so on. Sure, there has to be drama and tension to keep our interest, but none of these shows strikes me as the worst examples of mean-spirited, depressing, violent American TV that we’e come to know all too well.

There’s always room in the TV world for shows that set great examples, tell great stories, and bring out the best in us. My take, at this point, before release, is that Apple decided not to be content with the same dreck easily found elsewhere. This is no doubt driven by the values of CEO Tim Cook and, perhaps, SVP Eddy Cue.

Tradition

Historically, companies have a hard time balancing the competing interest of financial success (winning) and that of integrity, loyalty and honesty. (In fact, one TV show that explores that issue in spades is USA’s Suits.) Apple, however, under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook, has managed to remain financially successful without regularly stabbing its customers in the back.

Apple sets the example in many ways, derived from strong values, and other companies sometimes follow its lead. Apple is throwing its weight around, in a good way, more and more, and I like it.

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wab95jackadoodleJohn MartellaroCudaBoyfrancini@mac.com Recent comment authors

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wab95
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wab95

John: One thing I appreciate about your editorials is that they are thoughtful, and address a topic of interest to the Apple community, this one being no exception. However, there are times when your topic seems straightforward and simple, but is deceptively complex, at least if one is to respond to more than a single facet. I have avoided commenting thus far, because this is one of those topics. Permit me to take a more global, non-US centric approach to responding, drawing upon my experience and observations in multiple countries in both East and West. First, Apple, irrespective of actions… Read more »

CudaBoy
Member
CudaBoy

I question Apple’s values as pertains to corporate greed and use of tax dodges to avoid paying taxes. Their values at using labor that felt it had to hurl themselves off the sides of their buildings – those values; and of today where Apple shows up in the middle of NOWHERE in court to stop farmers from having the right to repair their own tractors. Sound familiar? Please.
🍎 🤡

jackadoodle
Member
jackadoodle

Apple has a double standard. It removed Alex Jones podcasts, but it leaves songs like F**k the Police in the iTunes store. Apparently, only conservatives can be disrespectful. Apple is taking good and spirited debate among Americans, and silencing one side of it. Consider that many people support partial birth abortion. Apple leans left politically. More people on the left support the legality of partial birth abortion. In my opinion, even if someone politely says that they support partial birth abortion, this is a monstrous thing to be supporting. That’s my opinion as a conservative, and I have a right… Read more »

francini@mac.com
Member
francini@mac.com

No, Crackpots — and that’s what Alex Jones was, is, and always will be — can not spread fake news (pizzagate? Really?) and just plain unsubstantiated lies and vitriolic garbage without there being, finally, some pushback. The lunatic fringes on BOTH sides that aren’t connected to reality need to be pushed back to the fringes where they belong. The Internet is PRIVATE property. Apple, Facebook, Google, and all other social media vendors has every right to dictate the rules of its PRIVATE offerings. The 1st amendment applies only to governments. Amazing how people like to conveniently forget that fact. Yes,… Read more »

jackadoodle
Member
jackadoodle

The problem is that you let Apple staff decide who the crackpots are. Why would you be afraid of putting all the shows up and letting the listeners decide? Don’t forget: today Apple’s staff is on your side. But we see from Trump’s victory in 2016, that the people in charge can soon change, and be on the other side. And if that happens, you will be glad they cannot just silence you.

CudaBoy
Member
CudaBoy

Yeah good luck comparing music’s artistic free speech license to a nitwit spewing off on the public; you can’t scream fire in a theater – and that’s Jone’s rap.

jackadoodle
Member
jackadoodle

Music is also political speech, as we see from Bob Dylan’s music. You cannot rationalize silencing Alex Jones and yet leaving F**k the Police on the store.

jackadoodle
Member
jackadoodle

But John, nobody has ostracized NWA for F**k the Police. Sarah Jeong is not being removed from the New York Times despite saying what she said about older white men. But when a Republican says something controversial, they are silenced. Like I said, they try to silence conservatives, but in the end it just makes them more creative and stronger. So keep the pressure on. It’s like being in a gym lifting weights. Makes them stronger every day.