“We must be open to alternative points of view, not alternative facts,” Cook said, while accepting the Free Expression Award at the Newseum in Washington, D.C, according to 9 to 5 Mac.
Cook is referring to the phrase that Kellyanne Conway, one of President Donald Trump’s advisors, coined shortly after Trump was inaugurated. Specifically, she was defending White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who had misstated the size of the President’s inauguration crowd. Despite pictures that confirmed former President Barack Obama had a larger turnout at his inauguration in 2009 than President Trump did at his, Spicer still insisted otherwise. When asked about this comment later on, Conway referred to it as “alternative facts.”
The Apple (AAPL) executive also commented on the First Amendment, which protects free speech—adding that at the time the founding fathers established this idea, there were no app developers, modern content creators, and other new forms of speech, notes 9 to 5 Mac.
“We know that these freedoms require protection,” Cook said. “Not just the forms of speech that entertain us, but the ones that challenge us. The ones that unnerve and even displease us. They’re the ones that need protection the most. It’s no accident that these freedoms are enshrined and protected in the First Amendment. They are the foundation to so many of our rights.”
He then went on to emphasize Apple’s commitment to upholding the freedom of speech.
“This is a responsibility that Apple takes very seriously. First we defend, we work to defend these freedoms by enabling people around the world to speak up. And second, we do it by speaking up ourselves. Because companies can, and should have values,” he said. “At Apple we are not just enabling others to speak up, we are doing so ourselves.”