World

Tech firms must do more against fake news: Apple boss

LONDON: Technology firms must up their game in tackling "fake news", Apple chief executive Tim Cook said, calling for a major public information campaign.

"All of us technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of fake news," the US tech giant boss told the Daily Telegraph in an interview.

"We must try to squeeze this without stepping on freedom of speech and of the press, but we must also help the reader.

"Too many of us are just in the complain category right now and haven't figured out what to do."

CAMPAIGN

But Mr Cook, who met British Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street on Feb 9, said governments should also introduce a public information campaign.

"We need the modern version of a public-service announcement campaign. It can be done quickly if there is a will," he said.

"We are going through this period of time right here where unfortunately some of the people who are winning are the people who spend their time trying to get the most clicks, not tell the most truth."

He added: "It's killing people's minds in a way."

Fake news - fabricated reports designed to promote a particular agenda - came to prominence during last year's US presidential election campaign.

Facebook, in particular, has come under pressure for failing to take action and last month modified its system for showing trending topics.

The change is designed to ensure that trends reflect real world events being covered by multiple news outlets. - AFP