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#AppleToo Demands Accountability at Apple

Apple Faces #AppleToo
Apple faces a movement known as #AppleToo, credit: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0

Several Apple employees have recently launched a campaign called #AppleToo to cast light on issues of discrimination at Apple.

The group formed last week. The #AppleToo campaign aims to create a movement for employees to speak out on the marginalization they face at Apple. The employees hope that #AppleToo can lead to greater accountability throughout the tech industry.

The Movement #AppleToo

To start, the campaign put forth five employee’s descriptions of discrimination and sexual harassment that they faced at Apple. The employees went on to describe how the Apple did nothing to deal with these problems.

Additionally, the #AppleToo posts shared how much of these issues came from higher ups at Apple. For example, some supervisors would not let people of color interview for certain positions. The employees involved in #AppleToo argued that these job candidates had the necessary background for the job. So, some of the hirers from Apple just refused to let these applicants interview because of their race.

In the time since the initiative launched, the leaders of #AppleToo claim that employees have sent in close to 500 accounts of problematic behavior in the company. The #AppleToo leaders stated that seventy-five percent of the stories centered on discrimination. Moreover, nearly half of them described instances of sexism, along with human resources dismissing reports or even retaliating.

The Organizers

While the stories shared through #AppleToo are largely anonymous, one of the organizers has gone public. Cher Scarlett is one of the people behind the group, she works as an Apple security engineer. Scarlett said she has heard from hundreds of people dealing with the issues that #AppleToo seeks to address.

Scarlett said she has faced retaliation over her transparency efforts. She seemingly tried to stay anonymous initially, but claims someone doxxed her for her efforts. Someone accused Scarlett of destroying Apple. Scarlett has also shared that she has gone to the National Labor Relations Board because she believes Apple suppressed her attempt to create a survey looking at pay.

The main platforms for #AppleToo are a website and a twitter account. Around 15 people are involved, some current employees of Apple and others former ones.

The Greater Context

#AppleToo is not the first instance of the tech industry acting against marginalized groups. In 2018, Google faced protests throughout the world because of allegations along the line of what Apple is facing.

It will take some time to measure the precise impact of #AppleToo on Apple. In August, Apple responded to concerns over online child sexual abuse by announcing they would scan iPhones for such images. Last year, the EU mandated Apple use a universal phone charger for all of its mobile devices. Both instances show potential long term ways to create greater change at Apple.

On the subject of #MeToo specifically, earlier this year, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis even promised laws to address the problems the movement brought forth.

#AppleToo is of course important on its own, but it also represents a greater movement of different groups mobilizing to hold the powerful accountable.

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