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Apple and Twitter

This evening, I sent the following email message to Tim Cook at Apple:

Dear Mr. Cook:

I have been an Apple user since 1981 and a Mac user since 1984; my first iPhone was an iPhone 4, but mostly because AT&T didn’t have good coverage in my home town. As I sit at my desk composing this email, there are eight Apple computing devices literally within arm’s reach, not to mention a couple of HomePods and a pair of AirPods.

Professionally, I wrote my first Mac program in 1984 (for a company mentioned in the first issue of Macworld magazine), and my first publicly released Mac software in 1987. My career path wandered a bit after that, but I have been developing Mac software for pay since 2006 and it has been my full-time job since 2009.

I write all this to establish some bona fides for my long relationship with, admiration of, and support for Apple Inc.

Like many people, I was driven to leave Twitter soon after its change of ownership, disturbed at first by the way he treated his employees and third-party developers, and afterwards by the increasing amount of hate speech and abhorrent messages being posted there, apparently not merely tolerated but encouraged by the new owner.

I have been somewhat dismayed that Apple continues to market itself there, but I am not naive, and I recognize that the goals of a major company are quite different from those of a private individual, and that it is necessary for a company to engage with potential customers on a variety of media.

But now I find myself driven to write this letter in response to news items from the last few days:

… to mention only a few.

I cannot believe that it continues to be in Apple’s best interest to have its valuable brand appear adjacent to such virulent, hateful content. Apparently, the leadership at IBM has reached a similar conclusion. I hope that you and the leadership team at Apple are already giving careful consideration to the effect of continuing to financially support such a platform.

At the top of Apple’s “Ethics and Compliance” page, above your name, is the statement: “We do the right thing, even when it’s not easy.”

I urge you to do the right thing.


Russell Finn