Tim Cook’s Tone-Deaf Human Rights Tweet | NTK Network Tim Cook’s Tone-Deaf Human Rights Tweet

Tim Cook’s Tone-Deaf Human Rights Tweet

The Apple CEO was commemorating Human Rights Day, but the company’s dealings in China raise questions about its commitment to the cause.

By NTK Staff | 12.12.2017 @2:15pm
Tim Cook’s Tone-Deaf Human Rights Tweet

Sunday was Human Rights Day, a time for world leaders and people across the globe to come together to oppose atrocities committed against their fellow man.

Apple CEO Tim Cook marked the day with a tweet, but it’s the company’s actions in countries like China that are raising questions about its commitment to defending human rights everywhere.

While what Cook wrote is noble, it’s not quite the full picture of his or Apple’s approach to the human rights cause.

In fact, very recently Cook had the opportunity to stand up to human rights abusers in China and instead remained silent. On a visit to the communist country, Cook could have addressed the fact that the authoritarian regime is limiting its citizens access to the full, free internet in an attempt to quash a potential political uprising.

And Cook could have delivered a mea culpa regarding Apple’s role in helping assist China in that anti-free speech effort. Apple removed more than 600 VPN apps from its App Store in China that would have allowed users in that country to get around the so-called “Great Firewall” imposed by the Chinese government.

But instead, he said nothing, making his charge for our generation to “advance and enlarge” human rights ring hollow at best and hypocritical at worst.

“We are proud to have worked alongside many of our partners in China to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace,” Cook said in China earlier this month.

Those two sentiments, one opposing human rights abuses and one supporting a regime that commits human rights abuses, simply don’t work together.

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