Apple has disabled Apple Pay support on websites selling white nationalist and hate group apparel and accessories, reports BuzzFeed.
While Apple did not provide a comment on its decision to pull Apple Pay from the websites, an Apple spokesperson pointed out Apple Pay guidelines that prevent the payments service from being used on sites promoting hate, intolerance, and violence based on race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
On Wednesday, Apple confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it had disabled Apple Pay support for a handful of websites that sold sweaters with Nazi logos, t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “White Pride” and a bumper sticker showing a car plowing into stick figure demonstrators. […]
Apple removed Apple Pay capabilities from little-known sites including AmericanVikings.com and VinlandClothing.com, the latter of which sells apparel with Nazi logos.
Apple’s efforts to block Apple Pay from white nationalist websites comes following a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists and supremacists clashed with counterprotestors over the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue located in Emancipation Park. The event culminated in the death of one person and the injury of 19 others after a white nationalist drove a car into a crowd of people.
While Apple has not made an official statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared two tweets earlier this week calling the events “heartbreaking” and condemning violence and racism.
Heartbreaking scenes in #Charlottesville. Violence and racism have no place in America.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) August 12, 2017
We’ve seen the terror of white supremacy & racist violence before. It’s a moral issue – an affront to America. We must all stand against it
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) August 14, 2017
In addition to Apple, many other sites have been cracking down on white nationalist and white supremacist organizations. PayPal has also pulled payment support from some of the sites in question, while Uber, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and Airbnb have made efforts to quell white nationalist activity on their platforms.
Update: Apple CEO Tim Cook today wrote a letter to employees about the events that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend, which was shared by BuzzFeed. Apple will be making $1 million donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, along with matching employee donations between now and September 30.
Like so many of you, equality is at the core of my beliefs and values. The events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and I’ve heard from many people at Apple who are saddened, outraged or confused.
What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world. We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality. I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.
Regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point — that we are all equal. As a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect. I believe Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that. We have always welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world and showed them that Apple is inclusive of everyone. We empower people to share their views and express themselves through our products.
In the wake of the tragic and repulsive events in Charlottesville, we are stepping up to help organizations who work to rid our country of hate. Apple will be making contributions of $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. We will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and September 30. In the coming days, iTunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the SPLC.
Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” So, we will continue to speak up. These have been dark days, but I remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. Apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.