These days, it’s easy to think of tech companies as the bad guys. They’ve been giving us tons of reasons to think of them that way. From Facebook selling data to YouTube cracking down on gun videos while leaving bomb-making videos alone, there’s been plenty to be annoyed about.
However, it seems one tech company is making a right call, and that’s by not caving to anti-Second Amendment hysteria.
Apple CEO Tim Cook stood by his company’s decision to keep the National Rifle Association’s app available to the public in their App Store.
Speaking with Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes last week, Cook said, “We don’t want to take a view that throttles the public discourse on something,” going on to argue that “Public discourse is an important part of democracy.”
While admitting he wasn’t a fan of the NRA’s “tactics or positions” Cook said it was important for the public to hear their point of view.
In recent months, the group’s media arm, NRA TV, has come under fire from gun control organizations who have been applying public pressure to a host of streaming services in an effort to curb the availability of the group’s message.
“NRA TV is home to the NRA’s most dangerous and violence-inciting propaganda,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “It’s time for tech leaders to acknowledge their role in helping the NRA spread this dangerous content and cut it out.”
But Apple remains firm, and it does it despite not agreeing with the NRA. This is an important thing. It’s nothing for supporters to stand firm. It’s big to stand against this kind of barrage when you don’t actually like the message. It means that Apple, as a company, has a sense of right and wrong that it doesn’t want to violate.
That doesn’t mean Apple won’t do something stupid down the road, mind you, but for right now it’s doing what it thinks is right even though it’s not particularly popular.
Good on Apple.
What Watts and company don’t get is that yes, the NRA TV is basically propaganda for the NRA, but it’s also only there for people who want to see it. Meanwhile, propaganda for her side is on almost every news program out there, bombarding people day in and day out, even if the viewers don’t really want to see it.
It sneaks into mainstream television and films, inundating society with an anti-gun message.
People have a right to hear the other side of the debate, and the NRA provides that through NRA TV. By protecting people’s ability to access that side of the debate, Apple is helping society make a better determination for its future.
Frankly, Apple deserves a certain amount of respect for that stance because, again, it doesn’t share the NRA’s positions. Apple just thinks people should have a right to decide for themselves.