Tim Cook on why Apple still uses Twitter: ‘It’s there for discourse and as a town square’

On the heels of Apple’s “Wonderlust” special event, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with John Dickerson for an interview on CBS Sunday Morning. In the interview, Cook discussed Apple’s environmental goals, while also touching on the company’s decision to continue using Twitter, investing in Texas, and more.

On Twitter

Apple has faced pushback for its decision to continue using Twitter (currently known as “X”), including spending heavily to advertise on the platform. John Gruber, for example, suggested the company reevaluate its decision earlier this month. Most recently, the ADL has accused Elon Musk of harboring an “antisemitic campaign on his platform.”

When asked by Dickerson whether Apple should cease advertising on Twitter, Cook had an explanation (of sorts) for Apple’s continued commitment to the platform.

“It’s something that we ask ourselves. Generally, my view is Twitter’s an important property,” Cook said. “I like the concept that it’s there for discourse and there as a town square. There’s also some things about it I don’t like.”

Dickerson, however, made an important clarification:

“There’s discourse, and then there’s antisemitism,” said Dickerson. 

“Yeah, which is abhorrent. Just point blank, there is no place for it.” 

“So, is this something you’re constantly evaluating?” 

“It’s something we constantly ask ourselves,” Cook said. 

On Texas

Dickerson also questioned Cook about Apple’s continued corporate expansion in Texas and how that balances with the anti-abortion, anti-trans, and anti-gay legislation in the state. Worth noting: this interview itself was filmed in Texas.

Dickerson said, “When we last talked, you said, ‘I believe that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, and that all roads lead to equality.’ How should people think about your commitment to equality and the politics of Texas, which would seem to be clashing with that?”

Cook replied, “There will always be cases, John, where we’re either selling or operating in a place where we have a difference of opinion on something. But I’m telling you from our heart, we believe in treating everyone with dignity and respect. And that’s how we show up as a company. We believe in being a part of the community, and trying to advocate for change, rather than pulling the moat up and going away.”

On the environment

One of the clear themes of Apple’s “Wonderlust” event on Tuesday was the company’s commitment to becoming completely carbon neutral by 2030.

“I don’t do virtue signaling, at all. I don’t believe in it. We want to do hard work,” Cook said in today’s interview. “I want to see that it pencils out, because I want other people to copy it. And I know they’re not going to copy a decision that’s not a good economic decision.”

Also in the interview, Apple VP Kristina Raspe touched on the idea that a carbon-neutral iPhone is the company’s “holy grail” product. “Right now we’re focused across the company, and my department in particular, on ensuring every device that our customers own and operate, the electricity they use to charge it, is offset by renewable energy,” she explained.

“This is all about putting one watt in the system for every watt that our customers use to power our devices,” Cook said.

Other tidbits

Elsewhere in the interview, Cook said that Vision Pro is still on track for a release in early 2024. In fact, he apparently watched the entire third season of Ted Lasso using Apple’s headset.

There’s also some talk on Apple in China, remote work and the pandemic, and more. Check out the full interview on the CBS News website.

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