“Last week, Apple launched a human-curated political news section to help readers steer clear of falsehoods surrounding the midterms,” Riley Griffin reports for Bloomberg. “The company’s announcement reignited a fiery debate with Facebook about whether tech giants should hire people to curate news or rely on algorithms instead.”
“pple has used human editors to curate news content in ‘Top News’ and other specialized sections since the application first launched in 2015, and said it will continue to do so for the midterm elections news section. The company uses a combination of human editors and machine learning to manage more tailored content in personalized feeds for users,” Griffin reports. “‘News was kind of going a little crazy,’ said Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook at the recent Fortune CEO Initiative, subtly referring to Facebook’s struggle with the foreign actors such as Russia, profiteers and bots that took advantage of its News Feed algorithms for financial and political gain during the presidential election. ‘We felt the top stories should be selected by humans,’ Cook said.”
“But human editors and algorithms can display repetitive patterns of behavior when curating the news, warned Pete Brown, the author of a June study published by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism that examined Apple News’ editorial decisions on Twitter and in newsletters,” Griffin reports. “‘Humans, like algorithms, are prone to habit,’ Brown wrote. ‘Apple News may have fallen into a pattern that Facebook and others have been trying to avoid: editorial bias.'”
MacDailyNews Note: See: Editorial bias: Apple News’s human editors prefer a few major newsrooms, study shows – June 6, 2018
“Among other attempts to curb misinformation, Facebook recently announced the expansion of its fact-checking operation and the creation of new automated “Breaking News” labels for quality content. Media critics and journalists take issue with what they deem Facebook’s lack of transparency,” Griffin reports. “‘Algorithmic transparency is basically nonexistent,’ Brown said. ‘We know very little about how these black boxes curate news.'”
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MacDailyNews Take: One man’s fake is another man’s fact. Good luck, Apple et al. You’re going to need it!
Once again, do not solely trust Apple News. Do not trust any single gatekeeper.
The best way to consume so-called “news” is to cast a wide net.
As always, readers of “news” need to consider the sources and interpret what they are being told accordingly. The more disparate sources you can find, the better. And we don’t mean different newspaper, network, website brands that are all owned by the same conglomerate. Determining the actual ownership of your “news” sources is an investment that requires a bit of time, but it is very enlightening. — MacDailyNews Take, June 17, 2015
Apple News’ plan for the 2018 midterms: Be the opposite of Facebook – June 26, 2018
Apple shoots for the high ground in ‘fake news’ debate – June 26, 2018
Apple News launches 2018 Midterm Elections section – June 25, 2018
Editorial bias: Apple News’s human editors prefer a few major newsrooms, study shows – June 6, 2018
New York magazine editor Lauren Kern named first Editor-in-Chief of Apple News – May 25, 2017
Who’s going to ‘curate’ Apple News? – August 13, 2015
The Apple News app is doomed – July 30, 2015
The future’s not looking too bright for Apple News – July 30, 2015
Apple hiring team of journalists for News app; a ‘jaw-dropping’ development says publisher – June 15, 2015
Apple News is fast, responsive, enjoyable, and it might become your only news app – July 15, 2015
Apple News shows that Apple wants to bolster and profit from ads, not eliminate them – July 10, 2015
Apple News to have human curation – and that raises issues – June 15, 2015