Apple News to have human curation – and that raises issues

“When Apple showed off its News app coming to the US, UK, and Australia with iOS 9, it didn’t say much about how the content would be curated beyond publishers submitting their own RSS feeds. At first Apple is just pulling in news from RSS feeds ahead of rolling out publishing tools for creating rich content specifically for the platform, but how will the company present the news to readers?,” Jordan Kahn writes for 9to5Mac. “Who will get front-page billing? How will categories and breaking stories be presented? We get a few of those answers in a new job listing from the company seeking human editors for the platform, but there are still questions regarding how Apple will overcome the curation issues it deals with on the App Store for the News platform.”

“And Apple won’t just be curating stories from the big players. It also mentions a focus on surfacing original content from both ‘the largest to the smallest’ publishers,” Kahn writes. “While Apple’s reasoning for human editors — to present compelling content to readers that its algorithms have a tough time detecting — is valid, it does bring up the question of how Apple could control what we see and how we see it if its News app becomes popular with readers and attracts a large number of users away from competing aggregation services like Flipboard, Reddit and Techmeme.”

Kahn writes, “Curating lists of apps is one thing, but having Apple employees curate the news flow could be more controversial depending on how the company ultimately works with select publishers and surfaces content from its preferred sources.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, if TIME Canada puts the next-gen iPhone on their cover a day before Apple’s unveiling or some website criticizes Apple’s software quality, where do those stories go in Apple’s News app? Do they even show up at all?

Or how about positive news articles involving politicians with whom Tim Cook & Co. do not agree/actively oppose?


Flipboard CEO blasts Apple’s News app as ‘something that we actually shipped five years ago’ – June 12, 2015
Apple dumps Newsstand, takes on Facebook with Flipboard-like ‘News’ app – June 9, 2015
Apple’s climate change efforts might be based on misguided idealism – April 21, 2015
Apple CEO challenges home state of Alabama on LGBT rights – October 27, 2014
GOP candidate accuses Apple of political bias for rejecting his iPhone app – May 22, 2010
Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist’s iPhone app rejected by Apple App Store [UPDATED] – April 16, 2010
Apple rejects iPhone app featuring caricatures of politicians; deems Pelosi drawing ‘offensive’ – November 13, 2009
‘I Am Rich’ application for iPhone, iPod touch disappears from Apple’s App Store – August 07, 2008
$999.99 app for Apple iPhone, iPod touch allows owners to proclaim ‘I Am Rich’ – August 06, 2008


  1. Every “news” outlet on earth already has human curation, and almost all of it leftwing. This will just be another leftwing-curated “news” source.

    Those who actually Think Different will have yet another thing to ignore.

    1. If it were only so.

      Most news outlets are owned by large corporations that are headed by very conservative businessmen who tend to give more to the Republican Party and also participate in the uber Right Wing US Chamber of Commerce.

      CBS is controlled by the Redstone family.
      Fox is controlled by the Murdoch family.
      NBC/MSNBC/CNBC is controlled by Comcast.
      ABC is controlled by Disney.
      Bloomberg is controlled by a trust for Michael Bloomberg.
      CNN/HLN is a subsidiary of Time-Warner.

      None of these businesses are liberal in their political contributions, lobbying or outlook.

      If you look at the large station owner/operators almost all are extremely right wing- in some cases replacing profitable liberal content with right wing content to advance their agenda. Not too many liberal businessmen will lose money on an operating entity just to push a political agenda- Clear Channel/iHeart Media and Cumulus have done so many times.

      It is long past time that the old Conservatard complaint about liberal bias in the media be outed for the bullshit it is.

      1. Oh yes, yes, you’re absolutely right. I can tell by their coverage that the MSM are actually CONSERVATIVE!

        (Are people really too stupid to observe the real world and make accurate observations? Sheesh, how obtuse!)

      2. Your Dem/Lib/Prog bullshit wears thin.

        Even companies whose news outlets are often perceived as having a conservative bias have given significantly more money to Mr. Obama. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, for example, has contributed $58,825 to Mr. Obama’s campaign, compared with $2,750 to Mr. Romney. The conglomerate, which owns Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and the 20th Century Fox studios, gave roughly the same amount to Mr. Romney’s Republican primary competitors Rick Perry and Ron Paul as it did to Mr. Romney.

        In 2008, News Corporation contributed $380,558 to Mr. Obama’s campaign, compared with $32,740 to the Republican nominee John McCain.

        Other media companies have contributed more significantly to Mr. Obama, including Time Warner, owner of CNN and the magazine publishing house Time Inc. The company, which is based in New York and also owns Warner Brothers and HBO, has contributed $191,834 to Mr. Obama in the 2012 election cycle, compared with $10,750 to Mr. Romney. The Walt Disney Company, owner of ABC and ESPN, donated $125,856 to Mr. Obama and $9,950 to Mr. Romney.

        Philadelphia-based Comcast Corporation, owner of NBCUniversal and one of the biggest spenders in lobbying money in Washington, has given $206,056 to Mr. Obama and $20,500 to Mr. Romney.

        Donations by Media Companies Tilt Heavily to Obama, The Wall Street Journal

        1. “Even companies whose news outlets are often perceived as having a conservative bias have given significantly more money to Mr. Obama.”

          That is significant – but not in the way that you want it to be.

          How can you POSSIBLY argue that Murdoch would support a leftist?

          Obama is not anywhere remotely close to leftist or socialist. He is somewhat nicer and gentler than a rabid right-winger… but he serves the same corporate overlords, the same uber-rich aristocracy.
          The DOW is doing better than ever.
          The uber-rich are doing better than ever.
          The middle and working classes are still uber-screwed compared to the days when one parent working could give the average family a good life.

          However — news for you First, the uber-rich don’t give a flying fuck about you and your children, any more than feudal kings cared about the serfs. There is nothing more ironic and pathetic than the serfs cheering, “Long live the wonderful and beautiful nobility. They deserve to have nearly all the money. The earned it.” No, they didn’t EARN it. They ARRANGED society so nearly all the money would flow to them.

            1. Beeeep… Accessing cliche #137… Obama is a Marxist. Beep.

              kent – you have ZERO clue what the word Marxist means.

              I know… I’ll consult “The Abridged Right Wing US English Dictionary”….

              Marxist… i. Anyone who doesn’t want to shit all over and rip off the poor and middle class. ii. Anyone who doesn’t agree with ALL of the most extreme of my right-wing views.

            2. Beeeep…Accessing actual cliche #137…Only liberals know what Marxism is – in whatever form, be it economic Marxism, collectivism, communism, socialism, Cultural Marxism, etc. – because liberals and liberals alone are the sole epicenters of understanding anything at all. And this holds true even if the non-liberal evil mean white guy was educated quite well on Marxism in his college years. All liberals have to do is gainsay, and it’s like magic: Reality bends itself to suit the gnarled, infantile, liberal “mind.”

              So when Barack Obama said “We have to spread the wealth around a little,” he was definitely NOT being a Marxist.

              And when Barack Obama told those of us who work our asses off to achieve things that his and Eric Holder’s people leech off of, “You didn’t build that,” he definitely wasn’t being a Marxist then either.

              And all of the times he’s badmouthed the productive classes of society and venerated the non-productive classes of society, he wasn’t being a Marxist then in the least.

              And when Barack Obama, of his own admission, in his college days, inhaled deeply from the Marxist crack pipe and never disowned it, that was very from from Marxism, of course.

              And when Barack Obama plays from the Saul Alinsky “Rules for Radicals” bible, that’s not Marxist in the slightest degree.

              And when Barack Obama presumes to illegally take over the health care of private citizens, against their will, that’s certainly not Marxist.

              Nor are another of Barack Obama’s policies of curtailing individual liberties, be they economic liberties or Constitutional liberties.

              In fact, Marxism doesn’t even exist. It’s all a figment of the paranoid imagination of the evil whitey right wing guys who are so sick that they’re sexually attracted to women rather some dude’s hairy anus.

              Strange, isn’t it? How unenlightened! Such evil!

        2. First — These figure do NOT include the hundreds of billions donated to SuperPACs — which is the preferred way millionaires and billionaires influence our elections. The statistics only include employee contributions and the company’s own PAC.

          Also, by limiting the comparisons to each presidential campaign, you ignore the fact that more than $1 billion in contributions — a large percent of it secret — came from outside groups, according to FEC statistics.

          Do you seriously think Murdoch’s News Corp gave 10x more to the Democratic president than to his Republican challenger? Remember you can get statistics to say pretty much anything you want them to.

        3. “Dem/Lib/Prog”
          Not all Democrats are liberal or progressive. Not all Liberals are Progressive or Democratic. Not all Progressives are Democrats.

          So, why do you insist on repeating this meme of the right that is as thin as the fake claim of a liberal news media?

          As to contributions, the numbers I have seen apart from the Murdoch Street Journal- a bastion of Right Wing Bullshit- show contributions to both parties and in roughly equal amounts, but usually tilted to Republicans.

          Also, donations are many times made in multiple forms and are sometimes indirect through trade associations and other groups. Private donations of the individuals heading the companies are also important to include.

      3.’re nuttier than a fruitcake if you actually believe that. Some of THE most wealthy in the U.S. and in the world are left-leaning. ‘Corporations’ donate equally to both parties–IOW they hedge their bets.

        One of the goals of progressives coming out of the 60’s was to infiltrate academia and media–and so far it has been a rousing success for them. The left by-and-large mass media promotes the progressive agenda and supports its message.

        1. Convincing a conservatard that the MSM is actually center-right biased is about as difficult as herding cats. They have nurtured that meme do long it has become an article of faith.
          Take a look at the Sunday shows and who they book. republicans are ALWAYS more heavily booked regardless who is in power. The balance between Think Tank is probably 80-90% Republican.

          John McCain and Lindsey Graham are on all of the shows so often they should be on the payroll as on air talent.

          The news is brought to you by Defense Contractors, Banksters, Energy Companies and Big Pharma. The Banksters, oil patch, old people and war hawks all skew heavily Republican.

    2. #1 Reality: every news source is biased. And will be times infinity.

      #2 Ignorance: There are plenty of news outlets (and people too!) that believe they aren’t left-leaning, but are (same goes for right-leaning). They believe they are the real deal / the real, unbiased news. They need to understand #1.

  2. I’ve got one:

    What if the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital writes an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal that states, “‘Sex change’ is biologically impossible. People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”

    What does a company’s “News curators” do about that, considering they’re led by LGBT crusader Tim Cook?

    (This is why you stay out of politics, Tim.)

    1. You think that the best people to stay out of politics are business leaders? I say that the best people to stay out of politics are the POLITICIANS.

      1. LOL. Good one. But, seriously, if you want to try selling users and publishers on a “News” app, you should stay out of politics.

          1. When Tim Cook stops abusing his position as CEO of a PUBLICLY HELD COMPANY to advocate for the violation of several Constitutional Freedoms, I’ll be happy to keep my politics to myself on this site.

            Understand? Or is that too deep for you?

      1. That’s all you’ve got? That’s your rebuttal to my statement that Tim Cook should stay out of politics if he wants to sell people on a “News” app? Pfft.

    2. You are free to go back to your old Windows PC if you do not like Tim Cook’s inclusive policies.

      I am no fan of many of the management decisions Tim Cook has made- from putting a stylist (Ive) in charge of OS development, to hiring a fashion retailer, to wasting resources on the watch, to wasting $3 Billion on Beats, to music rental, to the fake Mac Pro, to skinny at the expense of function on iMacs, Mac Minis, etc.

      I do support his decision to continue Apple’s longstanding tradition of supporting people in the GLBT community. Apple has a long track record of being inclusive, was one of the earliest in Tech to grant partner benefits, and is now doing the right thing by being more proactive as the world finally does right by people in the GLBT communities.

      Apple was-and is- a socially liberal company. Always has been and hopefully always will be. Apple needs to hire the best people and many of them will come from the GLBT communities. As a shareholder I PREFER that Apple seek out GLBT people and make a work environment where they can thrive and prosper.

      If your Right Wing worldview, religion or politics do not allow you to see treating GLBT people fairly and equally, that is sad.

      1. Blah, blah, blah… Answer the question:

        When the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital writes an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal that plainly calls “transgenderism” a mental disorder, what do Apple’s “News curators” do about that, considering they’re led by LGBT crusader Tim Cook?

        1. The person to whom you refer was bumped to an ADMINISTRATIVE position because he did not do well enough in his field to be the *actual* chief practitioner. Ever hear of the Peter Principle? Then he left when he couldn’t do that job well either (note the “former” adjective).

          For years the psychiatric benchmarks, e.g., the DSM, have not categorized any LGBT preference as a mental disorder. But you cling to a single crackpot’s statement as if it were absolute fact.

          Grow up and learn what reality is!

    3. Sex-reassignment surgery is an elective procedure. I agree, it should not be covered in full. But it should not be considered a mental disorder. As for keeping on topic, all news everywhere is in essence a fiction of exclusion. One needs a myriad of sources, with their certain biases, to gain any semblance of truth. The NY Times and the NY Post. The Boston Herald and the Boston Globe. Al Jazeera and Haaretz. Abbott and Costello. Apple News needs just as many grains of salt.

        1. Hmmm. A pleasant neighbor who has had some extreme body modification done. Or a consistently and poisonously negative neighbor called boringbob. Such a difficult choice!

          1. Ooh, Wikipedia. Now THERE’S a reliable source.

            But seriously, son, I’m an expert on the matter. Not a Wiki head like you. There is no institution of higher learning in music that would dream of using Wikipedia as a source. The fact that you do tells me where you’re coming from.

            You can think what you want, but I have DEEP learning in the matters of music, whereas you are a musical retard. I don’t care about the myths of pop culture, of which Wikipedia is a commoner’s repository. I only care about FACTS. And unapologetically so.

            Don’t ever again presume to tell me to look up what Wikipedia has to say about ANYTHING. I have bookshelves FILLED with serious scholarship. Get it?Wikipedia is for people like you. Not me.

            Deal with it.

            1. So… you’re not only ignorant, you’re arrogant about it, too.
              So, what ARE the white roots of rock ‘n’ roll. Please enlighten us. And what are YOUR credentials that you think you’re so much smarter than the rest of us.

              And Wikipedia was just a convenient search. Find me a source online (other than the Aryan Nation website) that agrees with you. Please.

  3. Bit of a non-issue. If you don’t think Apple are being fair and impartial stop using their news service. End of story. No one’s forcing you to only use Fox news or Apple news or any other. Just use your heads and take responsibility.

    1. Agreed. Nearly all of the media content in your life is “human-curated” at some point. It sounds to me like a few people on this forum are trying to spread their paranoia onto an Apple News service that has not even been released.

      How about keeping an open mind, bereanbob and Fwhatever, and wait until Apple News goes live and you have some actual experience from which to make a judgment?!

    2. Thank God for some rational comments. ALL news — WHAT YOU HEAR/READ, and WHAT YOU DON”T HEAR/READ — is decided by a human. It’s stupid to call the curators. They already have a name: Editors. Just like the new Music App, News will have to be experienced and judged individually.

  4. Even with an algorithm(s), you can make such decisions. I know it would be, somewhat, more difficult to control to some degree. Yet, it is done and is possible, What about human curation. Well, every site that has a human at the helm is in itself bias. Is this a bad thing, not really. You can choose to view or not to view. As far a corporate, I am sure they will tend to steer away from controversy and more to information. However, all is created by humans and so it must be made aware it will have some bias.

  5. Apple is going to curate everything for us. We’ll have airhead hipster doofus DJ’s who think they know great music, and we’ll have Oberlin graduates in “Feminist Theory” and other useless subjects determining what is and is not newsworthy.

    They ought to have a special section where they portray black criminals as good and white cops as bad, since this is a regular media trope these days.

    In a world where Bruce Jenner can tell people to call him Caitlyn, and where some will actually comply, you also have Rachel Dolezal, who is the embodiment of self-loathing white trash. She is a white woman who pretends to be black, the head of the Spokane NAACP, and teaches a useless subject called “African Women’s Studies.”

    She has disowned her parents, since they’re white, but they brought this on themselves by adopting four black kids – oops, “children of color” – when she was a little girl.

      1. Thank you for that, hall monitor Mel, but I couldn’t help but notice that liberals are NEVER able to refute me. Instead, they think of excuses for why they supposedly don’t have to, and then say something you’d expect from a 13 year old public school mouth breathing moron. After that, they claim a phony victory.

    1. PBS? You really think they’re not biased? An entity, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, that depends on government monies? Which party do you think the PBS and NPR employees vote for? It’s close to 100% Democrat unless there’s a Socialist running. It’s a liberal mouthpiece financed with taxpayer money.

      Defund Public Broadcasting!

      1. are you nuts?

        i doubt anyone would really argue that pbs news isn’t liberal leaning, but defund pbs?

        what the hell is wrong with you?

        compare the quality of programming you get on pbs with the dreck on fox for example – not to mention most of the other commercial stations.

        ever notice that the programming on fox is rude,crude heavily laden with sexual under and overtones and undercuts all the family values that so many conservatives hold dear ?

        well, that is just rupert murdoch is using you and laughing all the way to the bank.

        you prefer that to pbs? ii am flabbergasted.

  6. I think Apple’s curation will be pretty straightforward. If people agree with those perspectives, they will utilize Apple News; if not, they won’t. It will be interesting to see where the majority’s viewpoints are: which will be more popular? Liberal or Conservative? And will those who have fought the loudest for the majority to prevail continue to fight for that if they are not the majority?

  7. EVERY news outlet has a bias. And that is fine. No news outlet can report all news from every point of view. Yet again, this bias is not a newsworthy item until APPLE announces a new app.

  8. 1. Tim Cook will continue to with a mix of business and his moral sense.

    2. Corporate media is corporate. Some of the corporate is conservative compared to others.

    Combining points 1 and 2:

    3a. If corporate news outlets did not filter the news, then there is less reason for Apple to have a News App

    3b. Google in control of news

    3c. Google looking into what we read.

      1. You don’t get out much, do you. In my neighborhood, we have a mix of political leanings. People get along and get stuff done. If you insult one person in my area, you probably insult all of them.

        People have a right to informed opinions as do all the people in my neighborhood and most of the people at Apple. I suggest you get more informed.

        1. Pray tell, where did I say that people didn’t have a right to informed opinions?

          Show me, hotshot, or else admit that you threw a silly straw man in my lap, not realizing I would catch it and throw it back in your lying face.

          And by the way, I am far more informed than you are, so stick your unsolicited advice up your ass.

      2. I’m with bob. The only moral sense worth talking about is one derived from a book of stone age fairly stories… and only one of the many such books, of course.

          1. Nor has any book had such a negative effect on mankind: how many have died “defending” that religion and how many more killed for refusing to accept it. The Crusades, Colonization, and the Inquisition are some shining examples of noble morals.

      1. Good one!


        I think you missed my point entirely. Zero to do with political affiliation “Kaplan” – overly – Sensitive

        Readership of Drudge is the point. Don’t be such a whiny liberal.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.