Tim Cook on Why Apple News Needs Human Editors: ‘News Was Kind of Going a Little Crazy’

Apple wants to curate variety of content that won’t just be “enraging,” says exec

Last Updated: June 26, 2018 @ 8:20 AM

Tim Cook wants your news experience to be a little less stressful — and that’s why Apple is leaning on humans, rather than algorithms, to highlight its top stories in Apple News, according to the exec.

“News was kind of going a little crazy,” said Cook on Monday night at the Fortune CEO Initiative conference in San Francisco, explaining Apple’s latest attempt to curb polarization. Apple’s solution, unveiled earlier in the day, was a new, curated tab for coverage of the 2018 midterm elections. The stories will be picked by human editors, and will offer coverage from a variety of viewpoints, from Vox to Fox News.

“For Apple News, we felt top stories should be selected by humans,” said Cook, “to make sure you’re not picking content that strictly has the goal of enraging people.”

The decision is fitting for Apple, which has curated its App Store for the last decade. It also comes at a time when other tech giants are examining their reliance on algorithms to hit users with news. Facebook, most famously, has hired thousands of workers to help weed out fake news after its platform was leveraged by Russian trolls to spread misinformation in 2016.

Cook also touched on his decision to publicly criticize President Trump’s immigration policies during his half hour Fortune conversation. You can watch it below.