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Fake news is killing people's minds, says Apple boss Tim Cook

Fake news is killing people's minds, says Apple boss Tim Cook

THE TELEGRAPH --

Tim Cook, the boss of Apple, is calling for governments to launch a public information campaign to fight the scourge of fake news, which is “killing people’s minds”.

In an impassioned plea, Mr Cook, boss of the world’s largest company, says that the epidemic of false reports “is a big problem in a lot of the world” and necessitates a crackdown by the authorities and technology firms.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, he calls for a campaign similar to those that changed attitudes on the environment to educate the public on the threat posed by fabricated online stories.

Made-up news reports trying to promote a particular agenda gained huge traction on social media in the US during the election.

“It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public,” said Mr Cook. “There has to be a massive campaign. We have to think through every demographic.

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

The rise of fake news was being driven by unscrupulous firms determined to attract online readers at any cost, he said.

“We are going through this period of time right here where unfortunately some of the people that are winning are the people that spend their time trying to get the most clicks, not tell the most truth,” he said. “It’s killing people’s minds in a way.”

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