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Apple's Eddy Cue talks Texture buy and 'trusted sources'

Eddy Cue speaks at SXSW about Apple News in a world where platforms are struggling to manage their content.

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Amid the debate over whether platforms like Twitter and Facebook are doing an adequate job fighting fake news, Apple's banking on curation as a way through the tumult.

"It's always hard to sit from the outside and talk about others," Apple's Eddy Cue said Monday at the South by Southwest Conference. "When you have a large platform, there's a lot of responsibility."

The big social media companies, and search giant Google as well, have been embroiled for months over the hot-button material that they, their users or high-volume bots serve up on their platforms. That phenomenon has led to scrutiny over the role of Russia in the 2016 presidential election and the surging activity of bots after last month's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida -- and to questions about what tech companies can and should do to fight trolls and other unsavory presences.

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Apple's Eddy Cue spoke Monday at SXSW.

James Martin/CNET

Cue is senior vice president of Internet software and services for Apple. He oversees both iTunes and Apple Pay, along with services including Apple News. His talk came the same morning that Apple announced it's buying Texture, a digital magazine distributor. Texture, which gives you unlimited access to different magazines for a single fee, has been billed as something like a Netflix for magazines.

He didn't say exactly how Texture would be rolled into Apple News.

"We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users," Cue said in a statement announcing the deal.

During his discussion at SXSW, Cue said that things like white supremacy and hate speech don't have a place on Apple News. Rather, the platform wants to lean on the side of what Cue called trusted news sources.

CNN's Dylan Byers, who interviewed Cue, asked why the NRA -- an outspoken force in the uproar over school shootings -- has a presence in the App Store and on Apple TV. Cue said that every platform draws its own lines. The NRA might have an app, but Apple also prohibits apps that facilitate the sale of guns, for example.

"Everybody has a responsibility in the world," he said.

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