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The Guardian Pulls Out of Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple News (digiday.com)
474 points by r3bl on Apr 23, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 201 comments

This discussion has reminded me that I intended to make a donation to the Guardian, since I read it every day and use an adblocker.

The link for a one-off contribution is here: https://contribute.theguardian.com/

Or for a subscription, here: https://subscribe.theguardian.com/

I tried the weekly paper edition for a while, but although it was posted on-time at the printers (in Britain or Austria), the Danish postal system usually delayed delivery to me by at least a week.

I've mentioned here before that I'm a Guardian Weekly paper edition subscriber, mostly because:

* no tracking of the articles I choose to read, as in online news subscriptions

* cross-section of articles that I wouldn't otherwise seek out (no filter-bubble)

* very little advertising, none of it obtrusive

It's also a great way to support real journalism, and learn about world news, not the parochial junk my local tabloids cover.

There absolutely is a filter bubble, you just aren't the one doing the filtering. Not that I am philosophically opposed to the filtering, but rather the denial of its existence.

Yes, but part of the newspaper experience of old was- that it breaks it. You paid for news, you usually wouldn't read- thus, you would at least skim it- thus such things could be relevant for everyone.

But there is limited space in a physical newspaper. With finite space some choice has to be made as to what goes in and what doesn't. It's the same filtering that occurs with new media, except on a less personal scale and for different reasons.

It's the filtering which conforms to the wishes of the newspaper's editor, rather than the personal tracking profile of the individual reader. Hence why the various newspapers have known political positions - because their editors in the past put them there, and their readership now expect it.

Which is why you aimed to get in the position of reading a couple of news sources of different known biases. That's the old school counter to stuff being filtered

It's not necessarily filtering when it's a aggregated. Hard to achieve uniform coverage though, correct, and not all the topics which have happened may be touched on (even in a one sentence or less)

The filter is which paper you choose to read. Reading The Guardian instead of Wall Street Journal is a filter.

they're still better than most big news organizations, but they're massively scewed toward a certain type of left wing echo chamber at this point. I loved reading the publication for years; the Snowden revelations were the high point.

Now you'll get a massive dosage of anti-Sanders, anti-Corbyn hit pieces and similar along that political vein. You'll get a solid 70% of opinion articles pushing extreme feminism. If that's your cup of tea, all the power to you. But I don't think they're remotely impartial for a second anymore.

Comments sections strategically opened or closed or moderated depending on the subject.

Good on them for pulling out of Facebook I guess, but that definitely doesn't mean they're remotely objective at this point in my experience.

News is not Commentary. There's a wall between them in serious publications. Papers like the Guardian and the Wall St. Journal have very specific axes to grind in the Commentary sections. But they both have excellent News organizations. I'm left-leaning and find the WSJ top notch.

I mostly agree with this. I too lean left but appreciate the journalistic work done at the WSJ.

I think The Guardian has lost much of their balance in the past couple years though. I see too much rhetoric in what should be unbiased news lately and while I appreciate well thought out opinions I don't like them creeping into "News". When it does I feel the ghost of Orwell leaning over my shoulder and whispering "there it is".

Can you share a few Guardian articles that are not opinion pieces or a journalist's personal column but still has "too much rhetoric in what should be unbiased news"?

The article: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/dec/24/julian-assange...

The reason their extreme bias shows: https://theintercept.com/2016/12/29/the-guardians-summary-of...

This is a bit of an exception, because it is quite possibly the worst article I've ever seen them put out. But they definitely have a bias, towards the Clinton/Blair faux-left to the point where they not only dislike the right, but also the people like Sanders/Corbyn.

How is that article biased or extreme? It's just a condensed summary of an interview Assange gave to the Italian newspaper la Repubblica. It looks pretty neutral to me.

Edit: Apparently Assange didn't say the things the article claims. If so, it's just shoddy research on the part of the article author, and I'm surprised it hasn't been retracted.

How extreme is your standard for biased reporting, if publishing an article with completely made up claims - and not retracting it - is not what you would consider biased?

> This article was amended on 29 December 2016 to remove a sentence in which it was asserted that Assange “has long had a close relationship with the Putin regime”. A sentence was also amended which paraphrased the interview, suggesting Assange said “there was no need for Wikileaks to undertake a whistleblowing role in Russia because of the open and competitive debate he claimed exists there”. It has been amended to more directly describe the question Assange was responding to when he spoke of Russia’s “many vibrant publications”.

The bias shows in what they choose not not publish, as much in what they publish. Take Israel/Palestine (just to be sure to start an off-topic flamewar): Palestinian civilians are killed almost daily, nothing in the news. An Israeli casualty (military OR civilian): Instant top news on every mass media outlet.

Yep. I bookmarked The Guardian about 3-4 years ago and really enjoyed a lot of what they put out but about two years ago I began to realize just how tilted they were. I'm not sure if it was them or me that changed most but I suspect it was them. I quit tuning into CNN and MSNBC about 4 years ago and back then I recall The Guardian seemed quite balanced in comparison.

It was during our elections last year that they leaned too far for me to take them seriously as a real journalistic endeavor and I scrapped the bookmark because they were wasting my time.

It wasn't easy though. I really wanted to make a donation and support their stated mission of being truly independent news provider, but I just couldn't because they're not. They have a very clear agenda that's promoted with a left wing tilt but really only supports a different group of corporatists than the right.

I will not subsidize that, and that's really what they're asking from us.

The editor changed from Alan Rusbridger to Katharine Viner in summer 2015:


IMO, around that time the editorial policy changed noticably too.

That makes sense. I was not aware of that so thank you for pointing it out.

When they say independent they mean or outside influence and political parties, they absolutely intend to always follow their British liberal tradition. They don't hide this.

Yeah, I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it again but - although I used to be a big fan, and still read the odd piece on The Guardian - one of the things I realised around the time of the Brexit vote is that The Guardian is basically The Daily Mail for Lefties. They have this slick veneer of intellectualism, they're generally more subtle and, yes, they appear to fact check rather more carefully, but the spin and the somewhat shrill tone are nevertheless there. I can't really deal with them any more, but I could say the same of any newspaper these days.

You might consider reading Thomas Frank https://www.theguardian.com/profile/thomas-frank

Who writes how the left ignored the working class and how the working class supported Trump before the election:

March 2016: Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here's why https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/07/donald...

July (post BrExit): The world is taking its revenge against elites. When will America's wake up? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/19/reveng...

I always get very suspicious when I see somebody talking about "extreme feminism". The feminist content I see in the Guardian is of the "we'd really like women to be treated equally to men" kind, which is perfectly ordinary feminism I thought.

How about this recent opinion piece: "Robots are racist and sexist. Just like the people who created them" [0]. Basically if you're one of those "white, straight men" building software you're racist and sexist. I wouldn't call that moderate feminism.

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/20/robots...

Why is that extreme? The author is asking that developers take care in their work and account for unintended consequences of a non-moral entity learning from a world with racism & sexism in it. That seems prudent to me.

> machines can work only from the information given to them, usually by the white, straight men who dominate the fields of technology and robotics.

> one Google image search using technology “trained” to recognise faces based on images of Caucasians included African-American people among its search results for gorillas

> Microsoft created a chatbot, Tay, which could “learn” and develop as it engaged with users on social media. Within hours it had pledged allegiance to Hitler

> Robots are racist and sexist. Just like the people who created them

The author is determined to see sexist intent in everything, and bends the truth to match. (E.g. claiming Microsoft software pledge allegiance to Hitler.)

That said, steer clear of the opinion pieces and you can avoid the worst of this junk.

Is it not extreme to claim that all software developers are racist and sexist, and are all "white straight male"?

The points she makes otherwise might indeed be worthy of discussion. However I think some of what she describes is simply misclassified data - black people get misclassified, but so do white people (but of course it doesn't make the news). Unless she can prove that white people are misclassified less frequently than black ones, she has no point.

The Tay incident was not due to bias but to trolls purposely feeding the IA racist information. Despite what she vaguely claim later in the article it wasn't encoded, not even subconsciously, in the bot by the developers.

> Is it not extreme to claim that all software developers are racist and sexist, and are all "white straight male"?

I never saw that claim in the article. She did claim that white, straight men dominate fields of technology and robots, but that doesn't seem controversial to me (though I would happy to see evidence against it).

I'm not sure that either of your points diminish the argument of the article. I didn't get the impression that the author thought that developers are purposefully creating racist robots. To me, she was saying that those who suffer bigotry the least will also be the least likely to account for it in the systems they design because they see the world as less bigoted than it is and has been. Sure, in hindsight, the two examples you mentioned can be explained as poor sources of information. But if we're going to avoid bigoted tech & robots, we'll need to catch those issues beforehand, and I think her point is that more diversity would lead to better foresight on such things.

Never seen the Thomas the Tank Engine is sexist because Percy got covered in pink paint and didn't like it one then?

I agree. The Guardian's definitely gone down hill since Snowden. The news they do decide to report is pretty good, but their opinion pieces very often push socially regressive viewpoints.

What usually happens with their opinion pieces is that most of them are pretty uncontroversial and bland. But the ones that are silly, extreme and/or hypocritical are the ones that make it to the top precisely because they are so.

Take the example of their opinion pieces today.

Article 1: French polls show populist fever is here to stay as globalisation makes voters pick new sides

Article 2: How the opposition parties can still make a contest of this election

Two reasonable articles, which are not amongst the 10 most viewed or clicked on. What is amongst the most viewed opinion pieces then?

Article 1: Allow me to womansplain the problem with gendered language

Article 2: Serena Williams’s pregnant victory reminds us how amazing women’s bodies are. Subititle: Are women the weaker sex? I don't think so.

So the well-reasoned, sane articles are ignored, while the clickbait rubbish is well....clicked on, makes their 'most viewed' and is featured on their front page. A large part of the problem is people's tendencies to click on what you call "socially regressive" viewpoints. It's not like the people agree with them either, most of the comment section involves bashing the author. Some people are just looking for articles to get angry too.

NYT also publishes some pretty crass, clickbaity opinion pieces. I used to like Krugman, but his opinion pieces have gotten increasingly annoying the last few years. It's not that I disagree with what he says, it's just that they're poorly written rants that merely serve to make NYT look more tabloid.

I've seen that too.

As the commenter above me stated, in 2015 Alan Rusbridger left and got replaced with Katharine Viner

There are individual vocal Corbyn and Sanders supporters- Owen Jones of the Guardian for example is possibly the only person in the entirety of the mainstream media to be an ardent Corbyn supporter, and his pro-Corbyn articles frequently hit the front page, but as a whole it's true that most journalists there are Blairites. Sort of very mild-centre left who are socially liberal and oppose austerity, but are still pro-corporate.

That's not great, but for US news they are certainly in the top 3(alongside NYT and WaPo) and the only ones who are free.

Opinion isn't news, as another stated.

Nobody is objective. The Guardian is clear in how it differentiates news and opinion.

High clarity is what helps people most. Couple that with some diversity in sources, and one ends up reasonably well informed.

To me, they've gotten to be the left's response to Breitbart. (Yea I realize I'm going to catch a lot for flack for that. However, columnist/opinion writers for the guardian have been advocating for violence against men and quite a few concerning things)

Breitbart being the advocate for... violence against women? Or quite a few unconcerning things?

Anyway, you make an unsubstantiated (and practically incomprehensible) claim and yes, you're going to catch "flak" for it. HN being the advocate for substantive discussion.

Adding links to representative articles will make your claim much more believable and convincing. As it is my initial reaction is to reject to simply reject your claim as hyperbole.

If you're going to claim they're advocating violence against men you're going to have to cite your examples.

I don't have any links because I stopped reading the source years ago. (For that reason, I did write to the editors, and never got a response back) IIRC Laurie Penny was one that stood out.

Care to recommend any objective news outlets?


I am quite enjoying it these days. It presents the same news from various news sources and highlights a crowd sourced 'bias' rating for them. So, you can see the same story side-by-side from Fox News, New York Times, WashPo, etc.

No news source is truly objective. Your best option is to read various news sources with different biases, and keeping in mind how they lean.

> No news source is truly objective.

No reader is truly objective either, including you ;-)

That's not entirely true. One can be objective but it does take some self awareness that's not touted much these days.

It's a noble goal but, I think, doomed, because we're all inherently biased towards things that a) were written(1), b) in a language we understand, and c) were delivered to us somehow. What about all the things that happened that weren't written-about? What about all the things that didn't happen, for that matter? The tree over there in Bloomington IN at the corner of Whatever and Whatever, is still there -- find out more, tonight at 11! Or what about the things that were written-about, just not in your own language? Putin has an 83% approval rating back home, but the US media seem to want me to think he's the next Hitler. If I could read Russian better, I could find out a lot more about it.

What about the things that were only described with squeaks amongst porpoises cavorting in the deep? What about the things that happened on the other side of the galaxy? We're predisposed against knowing anything about any of these categories of things.

(1) When I say "written" you can alternatively insert (for example) "talked about" or "filmed" or "addressed in any medium."

Edit to get rid of italics-incontinence.

Well, I doubt any of us is perfect. I do my best to read the news & opinion responsibly: consider what evidence is given and do not give weight to hearsay with no proof, wait for each side to have its say before weighing evidence, and to make no rush to judge anyone.

I know I'm not perfect in those regards, but I try to at least avoid marching to the drumbeat of the two minute hates the politicians use to herd people.

Even if you are truly self-aware, there is no view without a point of view.

(And if you think you are truly self-aware, you have not read Thinking Fast and Slow. You should.)


The Intercept while not perfect, has a pro-privacy, pro-people stance and does great reporting about serious issues largely ignored by mainstream outlets, like drone strikes.

Reuters or AP is the closest you can get to objective news, as they're both press agencies. (Impartiality and objectivity are key principles of any press agency.)

There is still a bias in which things are considered news worthy and how often they are reported. In principle an objective newspaper can correct for that.

this is the problem the BBC falls foul of. Their reporting is reasonably impartial but they're infamous for excluding reporting on topics that they are not politically aligned with and over-reporting stories that support certain narratives.

   Impartiality and objectivity are key principles of any press agency
Should be key principles of any press agency. If you're old enough to remember TASS in Soviet times (TASS still exists and is still under Russian state control and still portrays the world in a way very favourable to Russia) you'll know what I mean here, or just look at KCNA (the North Korean press agency) for a current example. I'd go so far as to suspect any state-controlled press agency of bias in one way or another.

I've been reading Reuters for the past couple months. It's about as objective as you can get. For me other places are fine to read opinions/commentaries after I read the actual news first and gave it a bit of thought myself.

By "certain type of left wing", do you mean "Third Way"? I thought Sanders and Corbyn were considered very much left-wing?

Corbyn and Sanders are left-of-centre.

They are not even close to the hard left that the media paints them as.

Do not feel guilt tripped into supporting the Guardian through donations!

The Guardian turned their back on investigative journalism and went for columnists (that write columns concerning the agency news). This was decided years ago and last year there were more cuts to the budget, so even more agency news and flim-flam columnist nonsense.

How can the Guardian compete when they are just churning out the same agency news stories as everyone else?

Opinion pieces from a select few columnists worked fine in the days of print but it does not cut it online, people are not that bothered about what their columnists think.

It is too late to turn the sinking ship around, the rest of the Scott Trust money will be thrown down the same hole and it will be game over, with cycles of cutbacks along the way. At the moment the chickens are coming home to roost, a friend in the Farringdon area recently took on two refugees from the Guardian, or maybe they were 'rats leaving the sinking ship'. In former times the Guardian would be the company you would want to work for, not flee because the writing is on the wall.

Had they done it differently and actually done the independent reporting and investigative journalism instead of the agency news with columnists, then things could have been different.

Nowadays the 'please donate' deal sounds a bit like 'give us some money then we will do this investigative journalism stuff, honest'. It is back to front and not as if they really believe honst money can be made from honest journalism - everything is someone else's fault.

The Guardian published a terribly misleading series of stories about WhatsApp that it refuses to correct, despite being called out by most of the security industry. Keep your wallet in your pocket!


This is true and they ought to have retracted that. However if you apply the principle that you should boycott — at least least refuse to pay for — all publications that have ever published a misleading article on an important topic, then you will rapidly run out of options.

If you want to take a moral position it should be based on an overall assessment of whether the world will be improved by a particular news source ceasing publication. Given the rumored state of the industry it's easy to imagine that in a few years we could be in a "post news" society, where reputable sources have not managed to keep the lights on and it's only the populist publications that are still in business. If the long term choice is between "support a publisher that once made a bad mistake in a technology story" and "The Daily Mail is the only source of news", well to me that's not a moral dilemma.

Serious publications that get things wrong usually, however late, acknowledge they got things wrong. The New York Times, just to pick an example, have publicly commented on things like the mistakes in Judith Miller's pre-Iraq-war reporting or their coverage of the Wen Ho Lee case. The Guardian still has these stories up without as much as a nod to the fact they are strongly contested by experts.

I'm not defending the Guardian but if we boycotted publications for terrible tech reporting we'd probably be trying to get our world news from Ars Technica.

The bad tech reporting is not the problem. Failure to retract or acknowledge mistakes, in a situation where the bad reporting might get people killed, is the problem.

I had only skimmed the link when you replied. I now understand a bit better. I still don't think a boycott is useful in this case but continuing to publicize the issue is a valuable service.

I joined the Guardian some time ago as a member https://membership.theguardian.com/

It's £5 a month, and whilst you do get some extras it is mostly just to support their journalism.

You can pay more as partner and patron if you choose.

5 pounds per month for maybe 5-10 interesting articles is quite steep price compared to offering of Netflix for instance or BBC

I like to think of it as buying a journalist a pint once a month.

Also, when I had Netflix I found it to have a pretty terrible selection after I'd finished the two or three series I liked. Maybe that's just me though.

Finally, at £145 a year, the BBC costs quite a bit more.

"...at £145 a year, the BBC costs quite a bit more"

Because anyone in the world can have free access

The BBC website and radio is free, although ad-supported outside the UK.

Only BBC television costs £145 a year.

I've never seeds ads on BBC website or radio outside of the UK. Do you have more info on this?

It's a thing, at least in the US. Perhaps try a few countries with a VPN.

bbc.com has ads, not bbc.co.uk.

BBC iplayer is free to access throughout the world. That's pretty much all of the TV output.

Theoretically you are obliged to buy a TV license if you watch iPlayer.

Alas, no.

> BBC iPlayer only works in the UK.

> Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.

"BBC iPlayer only works in the UK"

Yes, of course??

Last time I tried it (from Spain) it told me I need to be in the UK.

Sorry, since this is Hacker News, I assumed people would have a basic understanding of how the iplayer knows your location and how trivial a matter it is to circumvent?

Since I spend 9 months of the year in Spain I use a vpn by default and I access iplayer just the same way I would back home.

The not free aspect amounts to a tick box to say you have a licence. To most people on the internet today this does mean it is free.

The point was to explain why the bbc is expensive compared to netflix since it is a lot less convenient to get content for nothing.

Yes, I do have a licence and subscribe to netflix as well as prime. The point was theoretical.

iplayer radio is free around the world. TV is not.

Yes it is.

You pay for BBC's TV programmes; you don't pay for the BBC's online news.

Full disclosure: I pay nothing for the BBC (I don't live in the UK).

However, the BBC news I use does appear to be funded by licence-fee payers, among other sources.

"The World Service is funded by the United Kingdom's television licence fee, limited advertising[6] and the profits of BBC Worldwide Ltd.[7] The service also gets £289 million each year (agreed up to 2020) from the UK government.[8]"


do they have additional expenses to produce news for foreign readers compared to British paying for this service? they would need to produce those news anyway, so no need to feel guilty about reading something paid by others, anyway these news agencies cooperate and I guess almost anyone in Europe pay for their national TV/radio/news agency which is sharing their news with other countries

Sure, more users and more languages will definitely mean more expenses. The BBC World Service's origins are visible in its original name as the Empire Service. I'm not sure they would still form the world service if the BBC were created today. It is, in my view at least, a great form of soft power for the UK and in some cases one of the only decent reporting options.

everyone i know read English site, so no need to produce anything additional for these users, it cost them just little bit if bandwidth and processing time, but zero human resources

The Guardian is free whether you contribute towards it or not. Unlike Netflix and, in theory, BBC.

Well, if no-one contributes, the Guardian will probably close down in about three years' time.

I can assert this because I used to work there.

There was a lot of fanfare a few years ago when they sold Auto Trader for almost $1 billion, which was justified as a sale that would put so much money into the Scott Trust endowment fund that the paper's finances were now "secure for generations to come" [1]. I guess that was optimistic?

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/gnm-press-office/guardian-media-...

The Guardian Media Group has been haemorrhaging money for years. Their operating loss was £69m last year and is forecast to be around £90m this year. Even with the best part of a billion quid in the bank, they're a long way from financial sustainability.


The online advertisement market has got much less lucrative per impression since then. It's resulted in most online news sources trying other things to keep the lights on (donations, as with the Graun; paywalls, as at the NY Times; native advertising as at the Huffington Post; lots of other things...)

They also have a top-notch sporting section with live coverage(if you're not American- they mostly cover soccer, tennis and F1), their mobile/ipad app is one of the best out there and their long reads essentially make them a nice weekend reading magazine. Plus they have a few nice podcasts too. They are probably worth the 5 pounds.

I read zero sport news per month, they could be all behind paywall, for long reads you can just check dDigg or Longform, there is anyway so much content I have no chance to read everything I am interested for free why would now I pay for it if there is so much free content I can't ever read?

I tried the weekly paper edition for a while, but although it was posted on-time at the printers (in Britain or Austria), the Danish postal system usually delayed delivery to me by at least a week.

Same here. I had a subscription and they'd usually arrive in Germany a couple of days too late. Luckily, Germany has Der Spiegel, which is also more than worthy supporting.

For me the problem is that the number of sites I'd like to support to some extent. I'd love to donate to The Guardian, but I also frequent The Atlantic, BBC and many other sites. Actually supporting all these sites would take time and effort. I took a look at some chrome extensions which try to make this easier (namely tipsy) but they seem to have very few publishers signed up.

https://blendle.com/ lets you pay a small amount per article, pulls from a variety of sources, no-questions-asked refund if you decide it wasn't worth it.

One day someone will come up with "paypal for articles online" - one button to comfortably and securely click to pay a few cents for an article you want to read.

And of course get enough traction for it to get popular and be used by enough people to be sustainable.

Until then, your problem will be mentioned on HN again and again...

The better way would be for a service that installed an extension that tracks number of visits to distinct URLs on a site you tell the extension to track. At the end of the month, it uses a multiplier with the number of visits to either:

1. Autopay using PayPal or something or the other. 2. Open the payment links with the relevant fields autofilled.

Check out Brave (browser) with built in payments. Of course, this doesn't solve your problem of who's signed up, but Brave has a protocol for that scenario and they reach out to sites and offer them the money before returning it back to you.

For print magazines like The Atlantic, why not subscribe?

Your comment gave me a small idea:

What if adblockers kept (locally stored) stats on sites you visited (where ads were blocked) and how often, and provided a link to donate to them, if you were so inclined. In your case, it might say "You visit guardian 10 times per week. To donate, click here, or to subscribe, click here".

That kind of thing has been speculated on repeatedly. Nobody's really built a system to do it that's ever caught on, but there seem to be an increasing number of attempts as the online advertising model continues to collapse. I think we'll see a mainstream effort at some point, and at the moment with rumours of an ad blocker being built into Chrome I think it may well come from Google. They already had a sort of prototype microtransaction system, it's not at all inconceivable that they could expand that programme. And with their own ad network already running, they might be able to make the transition very easy for people who're running Google ads - they are theoretically in the position that they could say okay, anybody visiting a Google Ads site using Chrome has the choice to see the adverts or pay a small fee, the browser will handle it smoothly for them and the payment will go through the existing AdSense arrangements with the site owner.

Honestly I don't think it would make a lot of difference.

If I can read The Guardian for free, I'm not going to pay for it. Period. And I'm going to block the ads if I can. Note that I'm not saying I would never pay for access to content; I do, e.g. Netflix, and my town's local newspaper website (which has subscription-only access).

Content is either worth paying for or it isn't. News orgnizations are in a tough spot here because there are so many news sources online it's not necessary to pay anyone. Anything newsworthy will be covered by a number of sources. The exceptions are local news, or highly technical/industry-specific news and analysis.

Adblock actually acquired flattr to do exactly that.

i'm a happy subscriber. i initially subscribed in gratitude for their making their entire crossword archive free, but i also appreciate the journalism they do and are happy to support them.

interestingly, their lack of a paywall is a definite part of the value i feel i'm getting for my subscription; if i had to log in to read them i'd be a lot less likely to subscribe in the first place. i wish more sites followed an explicit "pay to help keep us free for everyone" model.

Is there anyway to donate by BTC?

i am in quite opposite situation, i used to like guardian and read it almost daily, until they started to beg for money, which turned me away, rather put it behind paywall than annoy me with begging, i don't find their content so exclusive that i would make donation to them, almost everything i read there i can find elsewhere

I think balancing the need to promote their various income methods and readers ability to tolerate those promotions is probably quite tricky, and a Venn diagram that may never intersect for some people.

As a member I shouldn't see these but I am often not logged in so I still do which is annoying but unavoidable. But to be honest they are not that intrusive (mostly a paragraph at the bottom of an article) and 1 million times better than a paywall.

This is great, we all should support this.

The web is at a crossroad and we should promote multiple platforms, old-style blogs, decentralized navigation, classic journalism, etc.

For too many people, Facebook is the web and this is really sad and wrong.

We must find other ways to pay for information and curated content, limiting tracking and defending privacy.

Oh, I dunno. I thought it was an interesting experiment. I think it still has its uses. Facebook is hardly a monopoly in the sense that google or microsoft was. I know tonnes of people who don't use facebook and the people who do use it, it's usually just to connect with friends.

Facebook / instagram / messenger, from what I can see, are just hard charging innovative platforms trying to create products people like. Their businesses could crater pretty easily and the only reason it doesn't is because they keep trying different things.

It's not like search and microsoft's OS dominance / network effects from their Office products.

You don't need to log onto facebook in order to work, you chose to because it's fun and you can connect with friends. Google / MSFT have far deeper hooks.

I know tonnes of people who don't use facebook and the people who do use it, it's usually just to connect with friends.

Facebook has 1.86 billion monthly active users as of Q4 2016[1]. At that time approximately 3.4 billion people used the internet. So a little over 1/2 the internet-using population, and 1/4 of everyone on Earth, has a Facebook account that they access at least once a month. If you drill down a bit about 80% of American adults use Facebook regularly[2]. You may know tonnes of people who don't use Facebook, but I think that's actually quite unusual. Outside of our HN-reading, privacy-interested, technically-competent bubble the overwhelming majority of people use Facebook, and Facebook does have an effective monopoly.

[1] http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/01/technology/facebook-earnings... [2] http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-20...

80% of the country using facebook 'regularly' is not a monopoly. And even if it were, what are they monopolizing, social media in general? Just because 80% of the country visits McDonald's regularly does not make them a monopoly.

That is a bad analogy. You can start a family diner tomorrow and compete with McDonalds. There is nothing preventing that 80% to eat at your place.

However, you cannot start a social network tomorrow and expect to make a reasonable income. People will not join your network, because their friends are not there. Facebook holds a significant part of the world population hostage, because they cannot 'dine' somewhere else. Contrast this with a situation where social networks are federated. You could opt to go to a competing network because their service is better, without losing contacts to your friends.

I would not know if that qualifies as a monopoly legally, but there is clearly a huge difference between McDonalds and Facebook.

While network effects exist and are worrying, this is a bit too strong - you can have two accounts concurrently, and many people do. Hence why FB had to buy Instagram and Whatsapp, and why Snapshat has more than a hundred million users.

"You can have two accounts concurrently"... on all the sites that Facebook owns.

They tried to buy Snapchat too.

Some interesting reading on how we might measure the unusual cost of Facebook's monopoly to society.


There's also a scary number of people in developing countries who will report that they use Facebook, but not 'the internet'. Developing countries are the market Facebook could dominate, in the same way Microsoft dominated computers for normal people.

This is the scariest thing. Facebook tried to basically monopolize the Internet in India and other developing countries with Internet.org. There's a bunch of info out there on the subject, but this wired article is a good introduction: https://www.wired.com/2015/05/backlash-facebooks-free-intern...

Under normal circumstances 80% would begin to get the Antitrust drums beating.

80% of people using something is not the same as 80% market share.

Lol, try everyone under the age of 20. Facebook's survival is hardly assured. Why do you think zuck is working so hard on VR or why he split off messenger - because he knows facebooks survival is limited. What's app and Instagram is more of a threat than FB.

You people obviously don't use FB< if you did you'd realize that there is huge fatigue on the platform

The reason FB has done well is because they did some smart, viral things, but they can't just iterate like google or msft. They will die very quickly if they do. It's a very tenuous business they have

Facebook's survival is hardly assured.

Of course, but it'd take a long series of significant mistakes by Facebook for them to actually die. While another social network could potentially eat their market Facebook aren't just going to sit idly by and let them. They have the resources to tackle pretty much any threat, so the only way for them to fail is by getting things wrong internally. No one is going to invent a new way of communicating that Facebook can't copy.

Why do you think zuck is working so hard on VR or why he split off messenger - because he knows facebooks survival is limited. What's app and Instagram is more of a threat than FB.

I suspect a lot of Facebook's 'side projects' are driven by what Zuck finds interesting rather than what he thinks is important to Facebook's future.

You people obviously don't use FB< if you did you'd realize that there is huge fatigue on the platform

I don't think it's possible to gauge 1.86 billion people's opinions of Facebook by the things you see when you log in to your own account.

I am not sure people want another social network. It's not like search or computer OS or even Netflix. My feeling is that FB, as is (social news feeds), has no real future. I think the future is messenger, WhatsApp, instagram, vr, etc.

The reason fb is popular is zucks sheer force of Will and not because it's particularly necessary.

>Lol, try everyone under the age of 20.

LOL, those people will grow up too, and a large percentage of them will join places like FB and even LinkedIn. It's not like what people use in their teens is what they use when they get older, start working, etc.

Besides "What's app and Instagram is more of a threat than FB" is missing the point, as both are owned by FB, the company.

> Facebook [is] just hard charging innovative platforms trying to create products people like

That's a pretty charitable interpretation of Instant Articles.

I think you might be surprised at Facebook's levels of control https://twitter.com/auchenberg/status/834894652775923712?s=0...

> For too many people, Facebook is the web and this is really sad and wrong.

Those people don't have a need for the web, and, more importantly, the web has no use for them.

This kind of dismissive argument is exactly what caused this situation to happen.

If you don't think the web has any use for them, someone else's "web" will. And that web will have a better user experience than yours. Before you know it, people are all using their "web" (see facebook).

The real issue here is how can we enhance the experience of the web we're trying to protect. If someone else has something that's easier to use, people are going to use it.

I m not being dismissive, just realistic. If you want an example of this crowd spilling into the "broader web" , look no further than youtube comments. People who have nothing interesting to add to the web had better stay inside silos.

Facebook is in no way a "better web". I don't use it and I m not missing anything.

I also don't agree that "ease makes it better". The early days of the web were mindbogglingly interesting because it attracted an inquisitive crowd who found ways to make it work (and invented things, if needed). Even today, interesting crowds often flock to low-UX corners of the web (case in point HN).

I don't disagree with you. I too also want the web to continue to be interesting. I also find myself clicking on "Instance Articles" and "AMP" pages a lot, because the experience sometimes is just so much better.

You and I can probably live without Facebook, but for many, that's literally the only way they connect with friends online. And that's important, because the average user will become what defines the web. Just like trump is the president now, both are things I don't personally like, but that's just the people speaking.

In a way, we (hn users) are also uninteresting -- and the Facebook content are kind of interesting to other people as well. People are different, and we just have different objective functions. In that sense, HN itself is also a "silo". We don't want to be living in silos.

It's up to the Guardian, not up to us. The press didn't arise in the first place because of people feeling it was something they should support. It filled a need.

In the U.S. at least a free and independent press is paramount to our system of government. It's why it's in the Constitution. So, no, it is up to all of us to support journalism and ensure it survives, not only the actual people writing.

I am not American, but when Trump was elected and made attacks on the media it was the 'last straw' and I took out a NYT digital sub, thinking it might help in some small way. The AUD6.40 per month is terrific value, and I often come across articles or reporting I wouldn't have otherwise. Even if I don't agree with what is written, I feel I've come away with an expanded understanding of the topic and a slightly broader world view.

And how are we to decide which journals and journalists to give money to?

Those that dig and present quality, fact-supported stories.

Facebook has single-handedly almost ruined news consumption among certain demographics in the US.

Your news feed is designed from the ground up with powerful artificial intelligence to become an echo chamber, and lots of FB users just don't understand this. They fall for it completely.

I have more liberal friends than conservative friends, and my FB feed literally only shows me anti-Trump pieces (along with ads and other spam), some of which are astoundingly blatant in their bias.

I have to go out of my way to seek out opinions from or articles shared by my conservative friends. Even if I do this frequently, FB still does not incorporate them into my feed. Instead, every single day, it shows me low-quality clickbait anti-Trump articles shared by someone who lived on the same floor as me in a college dorm 7 years ago with whom I shared one conversation in real-life and whom I've never interacted with on FB in any way aside from approving her friend request.

This is something some colleagues in my research team (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, part of the University of Oxford) are studying.

The evidence doesn't seem to show an effect: while there's definitely partisan selective exposure as a result of Facebook's algorithm, our longitudinal audience data suggests that before Facebook people mostly only read or watched a single news source. So even the attenuated diversity you get through a selective feed still seems to result in wider incidental exposure than the pre-social media world.

No paper to link, as the research is still ongoing. I understand they look like pretty robust results, though - it's certainly changed the way we look at things.

That is fascinating to hear, and thank you for posting it on Hacker News.

(Also rather reassuring, and interesting in terms of narrowing down the causes of the hyper-partisan trends that seem to be developing in politics.)

Please do post the paper on HN when it comes out!

Facebook doesn't show up posts based on the source. They do it at individual levels.

So even if you read the "Unbiased Times", you can get a biased selection of articles because of the algorithm.

Quite true. Analogous things happen in print, though: people often read only the sections of papers which interest them (and, at the extreme, consciously skip those op-ed columnists which raise their blood pressure).

Exactly, and even if they read, they will reject it and forget it.

However, in the old days, you could get away with fake news, and today, you can get away with fake news (even break the law, because it's the internet, and you can write in English and have .com or .us domain in whichever country you want), and it's even lucrative to do so!

I had a similar thing happen, but in the opposite direction.

Back in September (two months before the election), a random meme of Hillary Clinton popped up on my Instagram Explore feed. It was funny, so I liked it. Immediately after, after one like on a seemingly innocuous meme, I started getting full blown "Hillary is a criminal" memes. Along with that, gun activism, taxation is theft, and that WW3 was going to happen. And I tried to fix this by flagging all the suggested posts as "not relevant to my interests", and even blocking the meme accounts, but Instagram wouldn't get a clue. So for weeks afterwards, my Instagram account was bombarded with pro-Trump memes. All because I thought one joke about Hillary Clinton was funny.

With all these automatically curated feeds, there's no space for moderates anymore on the internet.

Reminds me of that one time I watched a playthrough of an old video game that is now obscure. 3 years later, torrents of wannabe pewdiepies are all that is suggested to me. The related videos are now mostly useless even.

Autocuration is cancer.

Just stop using Facebook. You complain about your experience of it and claim (quite correctly) that it

> has single-handedly almost ruined news consumption among certain demographics in the US

but you just keep using it. What would it take to make you stop?

I don't mean to single you out --- I'm just reaching a breaking point here. I usually hold my tongue, to avoid sounding "holier than thou." I stopped using Facebook about six or seven years ago when I stopped liking it. I don't miss it at all. On the contrary: as a non-user, I hate it more than ever. It is an out-of-control addiction causing real problems for society, and people know they hate it but can't stop).

My sister --- who never used it in the first place --- sometimes says that she feels like Wesley in that episode of Star Trek TNG where everyone was addicted to that holographic puzzle game, and he had to pretend that he was into it in the hopes of delaying his assimilation.

I feel that way more and more, especially on a thread like this where there is so much "concern" about Facebook from its very users, even among "our HN-reading, privacy-interested, technically-competent bubble" (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14177389).

Do you think Trump has been a good president so far and liberals aren't aware of it because they're shown lies that fit their narrative? Or do you think the media has been gleeful and aggressive in their reporting and targeting of legit bad news about Trump?

It is clearly a bit of both, and a little of neither. The bias on both sides grew leaps and bounds recently. Both sides are attempting to capitolize on it rather than come together. The issues seem like little more than hills to fight on, rather than families to fight for. I feel like anyone who is not firmly in either camp is derided by both and it undoubtedly stifles discussion and accord.

You can unfollow such friends.


I'm going to go out on a limb and say that people choosing to forward articles that have the temerity to criticise the President of the United States and people murdering civilians in the belief it will grant them eternal life are not the same thing.

The Russian puppet narrative isn't exactly a conspiracy theory, several important members of his team have stepped down due to their ties with Russia. And the Russians are behind the hack into the DNC's email servers.

The trade magazine, Press Gazette, recently launched a campaign to 'stop Google and Facebook destroying journalism'


They don't need Google or Facebook. The news business is doing a great job of destroying themselves.

How do you figure, specifically?

Exhibit 1 would probably be the inaction of newspaper publishers 20 years ago as Craigslist took the classified ad business away.

Exhibit 2 might be the NYT taking on massive debt 10-15 years ago even as it was pretty clear that their business was changing. Money was cheap and their magic 8 ball said outlook good, so that was all they needed.

Exhibit 3 is probably the lack of care publishers have around the user experience on the web. AMP and IA is Google and Facebook saying "your product is great, your presentation is terrible". A 500 word story should load on a phone in under a second all the time.

Exhibit 4 would be lowering of the editorial bar by lots of outlets. This is probably the big one in my opinion:

* the NYT reporting in the run up to the Iraq war still bothers me, trust is hard to earn and easy to lose

* editors know that there aren't always two equal sides to every story, but that's the format they have

* their interview formats seemed designed so that a question with a yes or no answer can be spun on fly into a statement about something unrelated

* when everything is called breaking news, nothing is breaking news

* the patterns of news outlets are so obvious, that they are easy to manipulate (how many hours of television and lines of print were spent on Obama's birth certificate?)

Exhibit 5 is probably the overly conservative approach to the web. A digital newspaper is the obvious path and it's the only one too many outlets are exploring. Buzzfeed is a nice exception. I don't even think they expect readers to go to their website. Buzzfeed packages everything for sharing and the content flows just about everywhere. I don't think the conservative behavior of most outlets is due to lack of ideas. Some very smart people (like Dave Winer and Jonathan Abrams) have expressed a lot of interesting ideas that nobody seems to be willing to experiment with.

A decent amount of shrinkage in the news business was overdue. If you travel and read local papers, they are all almost exactly the same. If you watch local evening news, every program has the same format and basically the same set. There's a ridiculous amount of duplication and redundancy and getting rid of that frees up a lot of resources to work on other stuff. Fortunately, I think the shrinkage is mostly complete.

This is great. Thank you.

How come the Apple News Feed in Siri isn't configurable? It doesn't even follow the sources of the News.app. It's constantly clickbaity or depressing. Who moderates and chooses that.

Unsubstantiated guess: Apple wouldn't be able to tell big publishers their active reach on the News platform is X million people if it limited the news in the widget to the app sources you've explicitly followed.

I was also turned off by this and stopped using it for that reason.

Guardian spokesperson: "Our primary objective is to bring audiences to the trusted environment of the Guardian to support building deeper relationships with our readers, and growing membership and contributions to fund our world-class journalism.”

Precisely. FB's brand with respect to news is damaged to the point where it's negative. FB is the place to get fake nuz. The Guardian and the Times are wise not to allow their content to move under the FB brand.

Ah, Apple News. Americans might want to know that it is still not widely available in the rest of the world – probably another failed Apple project.

I had some hope that Apple News could help RSS but that was apparently never Apple's intention.

It's actually a sleeper hit [1][2]. The Guaridan seems to be the anomaly.

>Publishers are also paying increasing attention to Apple News, which added push notifications as part of a redesign last year and now delivers significant traffic thanks to the fact that it comes pre-installed on hundreds of millions of devices.

[1] http://www.theverge.com/2017/4/16/15314210/instant-articles-...

[2] http://digiday.com/media/duopolys-shadow-apple-news-finding-...

> It's actually a sleeper hit [1][2].

That's not the impression I get from reading both articles. Some publishers like Mic seem to be still in a honeymoon phase with Apple News, but there's a lot of criticism similar to Instant Articles. "Being committed to" and "spending a lot of time" doesn't equal to a financial success for publishers.

I follow Media Twitter pretty closely. Apple News has become a significant driver of traffic for a lot of publications. This contrasts to when it launched when no one thought it would amount to anything.

Here's a few more stories




You're not missing much. I subscribe to a couple dozen different topics, but all I get is News, Entertainment, Cars, Sports, and Electronics, most of which are dominated by one source. I subscribe to my local mid-sized city news, and it's completely dominated by suburban high school sports scores. If I 'dislike' the sports scores, all of my local news goes away. There also doesn't seem to be a way to tell Apple why you're disliking something. I liked the story, I just don't like the clickbait headline. Show me the same story, but not from Buzzfeed.

I have smaller topics like Ruby, Arduino, security, AI, etc subscribed but I've never seen anything from those subjects in my feed. If I scroll down far enough it starts going back days, rather than showing more subjects.

I read it once or twice a day to keep up on big news, but I've given up any pretenses that it can be personalized in any way. It's a big-media news aggregator, that's it.

The most frustrating thing about apple news is the region locking of content :-/

Why would Americans care Apppe News isn't widely available elsewhere in the world?

With Apple's budget, what on earth convinced them to not take the risk of launching in 20 countries at once? Google and Facebook really are the champion of multinational media endeavours.

Still waiting for youtube red here... And no date in sight. I don't even care about their "specials" - just opportunity to support favorite video creators (apart from patreon) without adv would be enough.

What's even more strange to me is their geographical limitations for existing customers:

"[...] If you leave these countries, you won’t be able to save videos offline, videos won’t play in the background, and you will see ads. " [0]

[0] https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6307365?hl=en

That's just BS.

Why is it strange? It has been common practice for decades now, you couldn't even buy games in Japan and play it on US console 10-20 years ago.

That's because you do not own the content, you are licensing the content and the content have geographical restrictions set in place by the content providers.

Until everyone sign an agreement to get rid of geographical restrictons, nothing we can do.

It's strange because in my mind I'm paying for youtube service of getting me videos (either with money or by wasting time on ads)

And with this I would continue to pay for service AND also receive ads.

I kinda understand perverted logic of licensing content and region locking due to price discrimination, but just in my mental model Youtube is more of a service provider than content seller.

Edit: Either way, I'm paying for not seeing ads - so why would they still show them to me, after taking my money? It's their problem how they deal with second side (content creators & right owners, etc.) And right now it just seems like punishing paying customer (hey, adblocking is free :)

It baffles me that they didn't launch that internationally - it's not like they need to buy some special licences, they already show all the same content everywhere. And all the specials are being produced after the launch, so they can demand whatever licenses they choose. And there's very clearly demand. They have google music available in a lot of countries, and that seems a lot harder to pull off.

Wasn't there some brouhaha about music when YouTube red was launching? Something about "independents" (think Adele, not highschool bands) complaining. Add to that e.g. music on YouTube in Germany. I would guess they would launch at the same time were it not for licensing.

I completely forgot about Red's existence. One of the problems with not launching internationally on day one.

I guess the difficulty is not technical but, again copyright related. There's no sane "available by default" policy applied worldwide. Or their predicted profits are negligible for small non-english speaking countries so why bother. (there's hope that it'll appear as google music in some distant future)

FWIW it's still not in the UK either.

Maybe if the video actually played on the links in Apple News.

This is one of the problems with monopolies, or maybe the bigger one. Once you are dominant in one business, search/mobile/messaging, you can take over other business without much effort.

They are not news companies, they are not in the news business, they don't know it, and they have not done anything to be worth the trust of the public. They are just convenient because they are a monopoly in another area.

sadly, you just described news companies.

almost none of them know about news, they just happen to own the largest distribution media in some region and because of that everyone have to listen to them.

add to that that traditional media (tv, radio) you are limited by government allowing you to own a frequency.

Those large media distributions didn't appear out of nowhere, they were built by entrepreneurs and communities. They slowly merged into the huge operations that exist today. That said, those publications have got so big that some have become divorced from reality... you only have to look as outlets like The Guardian and the huge losses they continue to absorb. Extreme even by industry standards.

If a paper becomes a part of a large feed, it risks becoming an interchangeable part and that means the aggregator can lower prices.

In some sense, Apple faced that problem, too. It created its own sales channel, whereas the Guardian has one to fall back on.

In contrast, Intel when faced with that problem in the PC market, choose to work on brand awareness through the "Intel Inside" campaign. Reason likely is that, to create their own sales channel, they would have had to start making PCs, thus competing with their own customers.

So, Intel accepted that there were larger entities offering both their and their competitor's product, as long as it had ample opportunity to market its brand there.

So, perhaps the aggregators should work on two things: pay more to their contributors, and allow contributors more to present their brand.

The problem with the "semi-auto" curated feeds that all of the Internet middlemen thinks is going to finally allow them to turn their online market share into profits is that the feed idea depend on the same omnibus newspaper model* that no longer works for the newspaper industry.

The dead of the omnibus paper the press is forced to choose between a return to the old local/partisan model where the paper becomes a part of political movement and receives "patronage" from that movement in forms of paid subscriptions, or the yellow(named for the color of cheap paper) model that lives off scandal creation.

*Most of the newspapers of the 90ies based most of their revenue off content sourced from their network of partners a model that only really worked because the paper had access to long distance communication networks too expensive/exclusive for widespread usage among consumers.

"The draw of Instant Articles was that they load much faster than the Facebook links that take readers back to most publishers’ own sites."

Are you serious, that is the draw? Apologies as needed from me (someone who doesn't know or care a thing about Facebook) but I'm surprised. Couldn't a publisher easily silver-bullet this just by removing the bloatware from their own site?

Agreed. Give me a decent site, not AMP bs.

Always seemed crazy to me that publishers were willing to give up so much for these integrations. The ability to have final say over how readers experience your information, and opportunities for freely measuring/analyzing that experience, should be key for news organizations that want to evolve.

Integrating with FB IA & Apple News is giving up power for gains that may not be worth it in the long run.

I get why they've done it, and The Guardian is a site that I both contribute to and disable my ad-blocker for, but I will miss the speed at which the articles load on my ancient and rubbish phone.

I'd still rather support them though!

I find it surprising that they are still going strong on AMP. I tend to club AMP along with Instant Articles, etc. Any thoughts on as to why this is the case?

I think they're similar in goal but quite different in implementation. AMP gives publishers a lot more control and apparently that shows up in ad revenue figures.

Dunno, as a user I'm a bit sad. I enjoyed having a simple native app to view all my news in, (Apple News). I was subscribed to The Guardian, but now I don't feel like I'll get my worth from their network if I have to change my daily flow just for their news site.

Most writers, be they novelists, journalists, bloggers or whatever label suits you, wish to write and hope to be paid well enough for it so that they can write some more. Most will acknowledge that they have a bias from the very outset (called 'eating'). If you are 'lucky' enough to have some semi-permanent arrangement with some publisher you will have their biases to contend with and if your employer accepts monies for advertising you will have their clients' biases to contend with and if they accept subscriptions you must contend with the bias of protecting the bubble into which the subscribers so willingly insert themselves because here in the United Kingdom, newspapers and even television media have, historically and quite openly, been arranged along political and socio-economic lines to the degree that if one took the Guardian one could be fairly assumed to be a 'middle-class, slightly-left of centre, hand-wringing, grammar school educated' whereas if you took the Telegraph you were ‘a cunt’. I find it especially relevant today what with all this talk of what is and isn't 'fake news'. Can 'good' journalism be paid for? What is 'good' journalism? And what are you paying for? Clearly some people do not wish to wander from the menu and can be justifiably upset having paid for a certain serving at having other unpleasantries appear on their plates. When you pay for your subscription and I do not mean to pick, you might wish to pay the Dirty Digger instead or as well as even, do you expect 'a' truth or 'the' truth? If the unbiased reporting of facts is what you are after then doesn't an aggregated feed from a variety of sources much better fit that goal? I could write more...

Would be great if some newspapers and other media cooperate and found a new friendly-minded ad-network. Provide old-school picture based banner ads with pay-per-click or pay-per-view models and no (or very small and fast) JS third party code/library.

When everyone used combinations of AOL, Excite, AltaVista, Yahoo! and Google was just this trendy new shiny thing, one of the main attractions of the new kid on the block was advertising that was unobtrusive and sometimes even helpful. The reason for adblockers was not because 'uuuh advertising' it is because 'uuuh shit advertising'. Your page lit up like a christmas tree on acid, you could hardly see the content for the tidal wave of shit adverts for useless shit. Your shitty dial-up slowed to a crawl as it downloaded animated gifs and dozens of spy cookies. Google won because they weren't greedy bastards who completely took the f'ing piss out of people to the point where the service they were supposed to be providing was degraded to point of being unusable. THIS! This is why we can't have nice things! Because you go too far! Because you just can't help yourselves! And the information finds a way as it always has of routing around the damage. The media will have to add value for anyone to pay them for it and quite a lot of the time people will simply refuse to pay and be happy with the news from other sources who are happy to give it away, and it doesn't take a very cynical person to imagine that those sources may be less stringent or have some ulterior motives for doing so, so yes, happy days and best of luck with the banner ads and paywalls. uuuh.

This is what the people want. Even those who don't realize it yet.

Unfortunately, it is not what advertisers pay for.

The Guardian is trying to get subscribers and donations. I'm not sure how much Apple and Facebook help them facilitate that goal.

I'm pretty sure Apple News supports subscription content, but not a patron-style subscription.

Perhaps they didn't like Apple's taking a percentage of such subscriptions then.

Instant Articles is the best experience I've ever had reading an article online. It loads lightning fast and doesn't have bloated layouts or obtrusive advertising. I was shocked the first time I [unknowingly] clicked on an Instant Article.

I think it's best for the internet's health that Instant Articles is slowly declining, but it did show me how much better the experience could be if people paid attention to that stuff.

(I'm only commenting on the bigger picture, nothing about the Guardian specifically. They actually have one of the better websites out there.)

Sad to see The Guardian go from Apple News, though I respect their decision:(

As am I. I would pay a subscription fee to keep them on Apple News. That's where I read most of my news. If they aren't going to give me the option to pay them to keep using them, I'm not going to pay them, it's that simple. Pretty silly move in my opinion.

I would love a Netflix/Spotify-style news system where I pay a flat monthly fee, get articles from dozens or hundreds of providers, and absolutely, positively no ads. There's no other way I'll ever pay for a subscription to a single news source, and I'm going to continue to block ads. I agree with others that even just tracking what I read makes me not want to subscribe. I just want a news feed, possibly that I can tailor, and with no ads. I'll pay for it.

I think it's way too late for media companies to regain any ground from platforms like Facebook, Snapchat etc. Their models need such a fundamental rethink and I'm not sure any of the execs in charge have to the stomach to do so.

Thomas Frank ("What's the matter with Kansas, "Listen, Liberal (2016)), is an American journalist who was kicked off MSNBC and writes for The Guardian instead and not US MSM.

Not only did US MSM (NYT, WaPo, ...) ignore Frank, they ignored the fact that Trump and Sanders were better at protecting STEM jobs by combatting H1-B Visa abuse than Clinton. (See ComputerWorld article below).


He was warning the Democrats not to ignore the affects of globalization on the working class:

March of 2016 Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here's why https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/07/donald...

After BrExit (July). The world is taking its revenge against elites. When will America's wake up? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/19/reveng...

The first article I started sending to people in early June.

He explains very clearly that the Democrats left drifted away from the strategy of FDR of supporting the working class and protecting American jobs. Hilary was for trade which decimated working class and for H1-B visas and illegal immigration which depressed wages for STEM and working class respectively.

Trump was anti-trade, anti-illegal immigration, and anti-H1-B abuse (he complained when Disney of FL replaced 250 American IT workers with H1-B). Notably, HRC was more like Bush and Rubio wanted to expand H1-B.


"Sanders doesn't go into great detail about his work visa proposal, but at least he brings it up. His main opponent in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, doesn't discuss the H-1B visa at all in her "comprehensive" immigration platform.

Among the leading Republican presidential candidates, Donald Trump, the billionaire developer, has emerged as the chief H-1B critic for his party. Like Sanders, Trump wants prevailing wages increased. Another candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), is on the cusp of reversing his previously supportive position and is working on reform legislation.

Republican candidates who are seen as H-1B supporters and would likely back an increase in the annual cap on the visas are former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Hillary Clinton may be more aligned with Rubio and Bush than she is with Sanders on the H-1B issue. While serving as a U.S. senator representing New York, Clinton traveled to Buffalo in 2003 to mark the opening of an office of IT services provider Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). That was 12 years ago, but the H-1B issue was very much a subject of controversy by then. TCS is one of the largest users of the H-1B visa.

The Clinton links to the IT offshore outsourcing industry have continued since then through the work of the Clinton Foundation, where Tata has been participating in its STEM education efforts. In 2011, former President Bill Clinton was paid $260,000 by IT services provider HCL to deliver a speech."

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