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Published: Mon, February 13, 2017
Science | By Guadalupe Butler

Apple's Tim Cook says fake news is 'killing people's minds'

Apple's Tim Cook says fake news is 'killing people's minds'

"All of us technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of fake news". He added that it was equally important that any move taken, should not step on the freedom of speech or of the press, but stressed that the reader should also be considered. "Too many of us are just in the complaint category right now and haven't figure out what to do". "It can be done quickly if there is a will", Cook told the newspaper.

Cook is calling for action to combat fake news' reach and use "the modern version of a public service announcement campaign". "It can be done quickly if there is a will", he said. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Cook urged governments to launch a public information campaign to curb the spread of false news stories, hoaxes and misinformation that are "killing people's minds, in a way". Fictional stories with titles like "Pope Francis shocks world, endorses Donald Trump for president" won millions of clicks.

The change is created to ensure that trends reflect real world events being covered by multiple news outlets. In January, the social media giant rolled out new filtering tools in Germany for users to flag stories that are potentially fake to be reviewed by fact-checkers.

Apple CEO Tim Cook believes that the rise of fake news is a simple short-term thing, in fact, people don't want them.

While most of the discussion around fake news has centered on fabricated stories and headlines that surface on websites and spread like wildfire through Facebook, earlier this month it was Trump's own not-official spokesperson Kellyanne Conway who shared news of a "Bowling Green massacre" that never happened. There has to be a massive campaign.

"The smartphone is for everyone", Cook added, "we don't have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic, or country or vertical market: it's for everyone". He argues a new approach is required in schools.

But he said in some ways, children should be "the easiest to educate" and they could then share their increased awareness with their parents. "The outcome of that is that truthful, reliable, non-sensational, deep news outlets will win", Cook says.

"We saw this with environmental issues: kids learning at school and coming home and saying, 'Why do you have this plastic bottle? Why are you throwing it away?"

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