Apple has adopted a zero-tolerance approach towards any form of unethical behavior, even if it means loss of sales. The company has withdrawn Apple Pay support from websites that sell white nationalist and hate group apparel and accessories, according to Buzzfeed.
Making a statement by pulling Apple Pay support
Certain websites promote hatred and intolerance by selling products such as sweaters with Nazi logos and t-shirts with a bumper sticker showing a car plowing into stick figure demonstrators and bearing phrases like “White Pride,” which is reminiscent of the recent events in Charlottesville. Two sites that have lost Apple Pay support are AmericanVikings.com and VinlandClothing.com, which sell apparel with Nazi logos on it, notes Buzzfeed.
Over the weekend, a protest march was carried out by demonstrators belonging to Unite the Right and other groups which did not find it right to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Violent clashes took place between protestors and counter protestors, leading Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency on Saturday.
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There is no specific comment from Apple about pulling its payment service. However, an Apple spokesperson did say that Apple Pay guidelines do not allow the service to be used by sites that deliberately promote any sort of malpractices, including violence and discrimination based on race, gender, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or ethnicity.
On Wednesday, CEO Tim Cook expressed his views on the Charlottesville events in a letter to employees. In the letter (posted by BuzzFeed), Cook said that Apple will make a $1 million donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League and will also match employee donations between now and September 30.
Other tech firms also pulling support
Before Apple Pay, PayPal also restricted payments from web entities owned by hate groups. PayPal and Apple are not the only companies making it difficult for the white supremacist groups to fundraise and plan activities. Other companies are also feeling growing pressure to bar hate groups from using their services.
One such company is Discover, which on Wednesday declared its decision to cut ties with hate group sites.
A Discover spokesman told MarketWatch, “Discover is committed to diversity and inclusion. The intolerant and racist views of hate groups are inconsistent with our beliefs and practices.”
The New York Post claims that Visa, the largest processor of credit card payments in the world, also took a similar stand against hate groups. MasterCard also joined the fight, saying that while it hadn’t barred such merchants from making MasterCard-branded payments on the basis of disagreement, it has revised this statement.
“We are shutting down the use of our cards on sites that we believe incite violence, as well as those who are wrongfully suggesting they accept our cards, when in fact they don’t,” a company spokesperson told MarketWatch.
Twitter, WordPress, Airbnb, Facebook and Uber are also making efforts to limit nationalist activity on their platforms. A few days ago, GoDaddy blocked Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi sympathizing website.