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Apple CEO Tim Cook Defends Parler Shutdown: ‘Free Speech and Incitement to Violence’ Has No ‘Intersection’

Silicon Valley exec appeared on Fox News, as right-wing social media site has been cut off following Capitol attack

Apple CEO Tim Cook defended his company’s decision to remove right-wing social media site Parler from its online store in the wake of the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, telling Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday, “We looked at the incitement to violence that was on [Parler}. And we don’t consider that free speech and incitement to violence has an intersection.”

Apple and Google both removed Parler from their app stores this past week while Amazon Web Services announced that it would drop the site from its servers. The backlash comes after posts supporting the Capitol insurrection and the call for future skirmishes were found throughout the site in the days following the riot. A developer even created an interactive map made from dozens of videos posted to Parler during the insurrection.

Cook said that Apple is open to restoring Parler to the site if it does a better job moderating its users and removing posts that encourage violence, but insisted that it would continue to enforce its terms of service.

“We obviously don’t control what’s on the internet, but we’ve never viewed that our platform should be a simple replication of the internet. We have rules and regulations and we just ask that people abide by those,” Cook said.

Parler has filed a lawsuit against Amazon for removing the site from its servers, claiming a violation of federal antitrust law. During an interview with Fox News host Mark Levin, Parler CEO John Matze suggested that Amazon, Google and Apple colluded to take Parler down, claiming he was only given 24 hours notice by Amazon of their decision.

“It’s very, very interesting that they all, on the exact same day without previously indicating, they never indicated to us that there was any serious or material problem with our app,” Matze said. “But on the same day, you know, all on the same day, they send us these very threatening notices.”

Watch Cook’s interview on “Fox News Sunday” in the clip above.