I mean best you’re doing is getting maybe another month or so of revenue from a customer who is just pushing the pain of cancelling because they are busy or lazy.
And at the end instead of getting what could be a dormant customer who can sign up later again, what you get is someone who hates your company.
What an incredibly stupid way to erode the brand of a publication, whose major asset to survive is precisely its brand.
"Seeing how Netflix would be so protective of my time were I to leave makes me all the more unlikely to do so."
Maybe the NYT should take their own advice.
I cancelled my Netflix subscriptions for a few months, then tried to renew and cannot because of a bug in their Credit Card process. I have phoned and tweeted and online chatted etc... Their only solutions is for me to buy gift cards, which I won't.
In the meantime, they keep sending me emails every week to beg me to try Netflix again.
So Netflix spends money to promote to me, and to answer my support requests, while they won't do a thing about their broken payment process.
How much more could I do (note that Netflix CS replies to the other person's reply in that thread):
Clearly, Tech (at least for payment processing), Marketing and Customer Services don't talk to each other.
...and the other is the Netflix Specials department.
EDIT: Addendum so not to be too shitposty.
I think Netflix came to Denmark around 2013 or so, and the content at the time was pretty good. Now you have to wade through a swamp of third rate trash and maybe you're lucky to find something that isn't absolute garbage. My account will remain canceled.
This mixture of trying to help the consumer to boost your image and sabotaging your own consumer-friendly process to drive up revenue is what late-stage capitalism is all about.
You're right that the cyberpunk genre lacks a sufficient dose of this kind of absurdity. I think that derives in large part from its original popularizers - I'm thinking here of Gibson and Stephenson, in particular - being in such deadly earnest about everything. Gibson especially, being a literary author trafficking in genre, I think could fairly be blamed for this; Stephenson at least attempted a sense of humor in his most significant work, and sometimes even succeeded, but in his case I think it's more a flaw of worldbuilding in that the mechanisms of transition from the America of his present, to the micro-balkanized future he depicted, were insufficiently fleshed out and thus failed to capture the mounting absurdity of daily life that any such transition I think necessarily entails.
Perhaps that's a touch presentist of me, in the case of Snow Crash at least; after all, it was written in far less absurd days than these. Nonetheless, I think most who've followed have felt to some degree bound to emulate - not all, though; for example, the brilliant cyberpunk film The Fifth Element does spend deliberate effort to successfully, if briefly, depict the absurdity of life in such a dispensation.
Would that more works in the genre did the same, and in general that they would more broadly update their extrapolation of possible futures to look ahead from today, instead of from thirty or forty years ago. But that kind of work is very hard, so maybe it's not too much a surprise to see it done so rarely.
Cyberpunk stories tend to focus on the "consumer-hostile" part, whereas I think the superposition of the two and the permanent conflict between them is way more interesting.
(For instance, you almost never see review systems or consumer watchdogs in cyberpunk stories)
In any case, I haven't watched either film in far too long. I should really remedy that soon!
Perhaps it's time for a reimagining - I could see it working really well as a collection of "websites" with "live chats" and "emails" and so forth, borrowing tools from the "alternate-reality game" style of organic viral marketing and turning them to an altogether nobler purpose. I think that'd be the right choice of medium to tell this sort of story today.
I’m not sure I’m ready to chalk it up to nefarious motives. But it is quite suspicious.
Apparently someone from Netflix read my comments here and deactivated the account completely. :P Thanks!
Sorry if I spoiled your clever marketing strategy but I think sending a fake "suspicious login" email and keeping cancelled accounts for 10 months is just not right.
Either way, I agree with you that this is not right.
The email I received was "We’ve detected a suspicious sign-in to your Netflix account. Just to be safe we've reset your password and you’ll need to set a new one." with a button to "Set a new password".
It didn't mention any IP or geolocation as many other services say in such cases.
Do you live in the US? GDPR does not apply to US companies serving US citizens. If you live in the EU, you might need to request account deletion, I think GDPR doesn't require that data is deleted, it gives Europeans the right to have their data deleted upon request. (I've read the entire code before but I don't remember the details on this point.)
GDPR also requires you to be able to cancel by the same way you signed up, so any company that doesn’t let you cancel online is in flagrant violation.
NYT is a US company serving a US locale by it's very name. GDPR doesn't even automatically apply to European NYT subscribers, unless the NYT advertises directly to Europeans, or does EU business with EU offices*. The GDPR law is clear about this point, it is a protection for EU citizens regarding web sites and businesses that are focused on, directed and targeted toward EU citizens. It does not apply to interactions outside of the EU (aside from EU travelers visiting EU web sites), and it does not apply to web sites that originate outside the EU and are global that just happen to have visitors from the EU.
* The NYT might be advertising in the EU, I don't know. If it does, I'd be willing to bet that EU citizens are given an online mechanism to cancel, even though US citizens aren't...
It definitely does have UK specific ads, I’ve seen them, and GDPR is grandfathered into UK law.
I cancelled mine by cancelling the PayPal, there was no other way to cancel without phoning them. There is no online cancellation even for those in GDPR jurisdictions.
* Subscriptions are for one year at a time, and have transparently indicated pricing. No "$2.71 per day, charged annually", no hidden tips, taxes or convenience fees.
* If you don't use the app for a few months, they auto-extend your subscription by an extra month as a courtesy.
* When your annual subscription is about to expire, they send a reminder a few weeks and another a few days before the expiration. If you don't renew, you get a final "Sorry to see you go, here's how to reactivate for $annual_price, if you don't renew we'll delete your stored data in a few months" email.
This is how subscriptions should work. They send an appropriate amount of notification at a good schedule to make sure you don't accidentally forget to renew, and don't pester you to death if you don't.
Not to criticize this behavior, just to set it into the proper context. Its just smart to see the potential customer in your cancellations anyway.
Rather than good customer service, Amazon try to be generous on the visible aspects that people might talk about, but quietly cheat you with antipatterns.
Imagine if you had to go through this exhausting process in your personal life. After half an hour since asking your spouse to help with the dishes, your spouse finally says “now that we realize using paper plates will solve your problem of dirty dishes, is there anything else I can help you with?”
We wouldn’t tolerate that in our personal life so why do we in business? After all, corporations are people...
Reminds me of the quote “Being well adjusted to a sick society is not a measure of health”
Their entire business model boils down to "exploit people's unrealistic expectations of themselves to make money". They obviously feel awkward about it, and they soften the blow a lot, which is to their credit, but at the end of the day this is where their money comes from.
But it's definitely not for everyone! If your reaction to Beeminder is "I would not do anything differently and just waste money" then you are probably right and should not use Beeminder. We've been around for about a decade which we think is evidence that there are people for whom it does work.
For anyone in the category you describe (tried Beeminder, found their expectations of themself to be unrealistic, quit Beeminder) we definitely want to talk to you.
Also calibrating self-expectations is one of things many users tell us is worth paying for.
Sure, it's a principle thing, treat our customers as we'd like to be treated ourselves. But it makes sense from a purely business point of view as well.
In return for giving up some small amount of subscription revenue by putting through a cancellation that was going to happen anyway a bit sooner, we generate positive sentiment. We often get a nice thank-you message back, with extra information about why someone was cancelling or hadn't been using the app recently.
We know for a fact that we have sometimes gained new customers from referrals by those people we helped out a little. Sometimes a former customer's situation changes again later and they come back to us, too.
And the reality is that particularly with online payment methods, there's also a small risk that someone will do a hostile chargeback without bothering to even try cancelling, particularly if they forgot about a subscription and changed their email address or something like that. Even if you've done nothing wrong and provide evidence accordingly, you have a good chance of losing a dispute anyway, and one way or another it ends up costing you more than it would have done to preemptively cancel a subscription that you knew wasn't being used for a long time.
This is from the perspective of a small business in a niche market, where there is definitely a sense of community and reputation does matter. We've met some of our customers in person, and there are many more mutual connections or friend-of-friend kinds of relationships that might be relevant one day. Maybe things work differently when you're running a huge business with a strong brand in a huge market; I've never done that, so I wouldn't know. But I honestly can't imagine why we'd want to run things any other way. There are few things more valuable to a business like ours than a good reputation in the community we cater for.
It was such a sad experience- while helping out with the customer side I was wading through emails _begging_ to cancel their subscription. Some people were closing their bank accounts to do that, because the founders intentionally introduced dark patterns to hide the unsubscribe functionality.
I mean yeah they did get a fair amount of money from those schemes, but they did loose all of their senior devs in the process.
I personally don't think routine cancellation policy should even be up to the business. Deliberately preventing customers from cancelling a subscription that they are entitled to cancel, or making it unreasonably difficult or intimidating to do so, should be grounds for legal or regulatory intervention to protect consumer rights.
A basic rule along the lines that subscription services must provide a means of cancelling that would normally be no more demanding than the means of starting the same subscription seems fair to me.
With a positive attitude like yours, it seems like something I would want to know about.
I'm not sure if this really counts for much in their favour.
Then they accepted a charge on the account from a subscription I had forgotten to move, even though the account was closed, and because my account was then in deficit decided to reactivate my account without letting me know. Then they charged me an overdraft fee and daily penalties, and then eventually sent me a bill with like £120 of charges.
I challenged it and had to speak on the phone to people for ages. Eventually they took the charges off as a "one-off gesture of good faith" which annoyed me, because it still implies that it was my mistake and not theirs.
If signed up to the scheme (most are, including Santander), your old bank is responsible for passing on any deposits directly to your new bank account and the new bank is responsible for processing any transactions made using your old details. This carries on for, I believe 12 months.
I found the Switch Guarantee service to be excellent and believe it's a significant driver of innovation and competition in UK banking (which is far ahead of many other European countries in my experience).
My payees from my old bank were even transferred over to my new one.
(Current account = checking account to any non-UK readers.)
Terrible, terrible company.
Every person everywhere really needs to move all their money to credit unions, our banking system is so thoroughly fucked.
The cashier gave me all the cash I’d already taken from the account.
Charging for bank accounts in North America is just like commission on retail brokers - everyone else is doing it, so why not? Eventually probably 'fintech startup challenger banks' with the novel idea of not charging will gain too much market share, and the big boys will scrap the fees too in order to compete (and barely feel it).
Cheques basically don’t exist here in NZ now.
Well, which one is it? /j
Using it with an adjective to clarify the meaning here is fine.
I am obviously not an authoritative source on how words are understood, but just wanted to add this data point.
In our college house, we’d always run these rackets and get free plane tickets, CDs, tickets, etc. The phone companies were even better. At peak, we’d farm $300-600 a semester for switching long distance.
The “loophole” on the consumer side was that of you lived with 5 roommates, you’d transfer the phone service every couple of months and then switch the long distance plans with a legit company like AT&T, Sprint, etc.
There was a period of time in the 90s where you would get a check or credit for switching... as much as $200-300! Long distance costs were in free fall and telcos were swimming in cash, so they decided to buy market share.
At some point they sent a debt collection agency, that was much less stressful than it sounds. They called me up, "you owe $telco money", "No I don't", "oh?", "Yes, I have complete documentation of cancelling it, but their CS reps kept hanging up. Sorry, you've been had.", "Oh, this again. Sorry to have bothered you.", never heard from the debt collection agency again.
Very hard to close the account, even in person. My point was to make sure that there is no recurring payments left on the account.
Similar bullshit. You ask to close the account, and they keep asking you back with a square face.
In the end, a year after I left Canada, I get a call from collectors saying that they have $600+ debt+penalties+interest on my allegedly closed credit card from a service the bank added itself, and that they set my credit score to zero.
Then I found that TD subscribed me on some bullshit "credit alert" right in the month when I asked for account closure.
An immediate WTF was how in the world my credit card was still active. In than latter came out that TD does not let people really close their CC accounts, only "stop them," which only amounts to just hiding you CC from web UI, and that you need specifically say that you want to "really close" the account, which I did. So, next time, if will ever set my foot in the country, I will need to ask them to "really, really, really close my account"
Ameritrade is owned by Charles Schwab now with TD having a minority stake in Schwab. Before that TD had a 40% stake in Ameritrade.
(source: Dave Ramsey's mentioned that in many of his radio shows/podcast episodes)
The answer? was a streaming box. I expect to see a monthly rental fee for the streaming box...
I had to cancel the plan and have my "roommate" (actually my wife), start as a new customer to get an internet only plan.
I already had them for Internet access, but had DirecTV at the time for my TV.
They must have a quarterly quota to upsell to their subscriber base, so I'd get a call like clockwork every three months, pushing a cable TV package. Each time I'd tell them that the only reason I'm with DirecTV is because of Sunday Ticket (NFL package; exclusive to DTV). That always worked, until one day.
This sales rep responds with, "We have Redzone". I reply that it's not the same, and I really need the package I have with DTV. Then he says, "You know there are websites that stream all the games for free, right? Why not do that?"
Yeah, basically telling me to pirate the games.
... "That's a good point! Hell, I don't need any TV service at all then, right?"
> Me to retention person: Hi, I just switched to AT&T Fiber and I'm up and running, so I want to get rid of my Comcast internet.
> Rentention person: Is this the sort of sitation where you would move your Comcast internet to a new location?
> Me: No.
> Rentention person: Ohh, well in that case, I'll go ahead and cancel you're account. Ok done now.
Literally a 4 minute phone call including automated prompts.
If it doesn't, trying to repair that damage could be an exercise in futility. :/
P.S. there probably going to get a lot of people "going to prison" in the future so the scripts will include questions to out the fakers, who want to cancel without trouble.
The only disadvantage is that you would probably have to give that company your billing information for that to work.
It keeps companies in line.
In my case:
1) First I had a rough time cancelling my account _in person_ at a T-mobile store. The remote T-mobile employees in charge of cancellation kept hanging up on the T-mobile employees calling them from the store because cancellations are bad. This was so normal to the local T-mobile employees it was laughable to them.
2) T-mobile never cancelled my account - they suspended it...and didn't tell me! They reopened it 6 months later, charged me for a few months w/o notifying me, then sent the unpaid dues to a local debt collector. I only found out after being contacted by a debt collection agency.
I was able to get both T-mobile and the collection agency they work with to "look into it", but I could not get a direct answer from T-mobile about how to fix the situation after multiple calls to them, and the collection agency relied on T-mobile to strike the debt clean.
Bob Ferguson is the attorney general for Washington where T-mobile's HQ is. Bob is THE man in case you were wondering. After filing a complaint to his office, which was then forwarded to T-mobile, I heard back from someone at T-mobile specializing in these situations in a week's time and was informed the situation was fixed and the debt was removed from my credit report.
A few months later I got a collections notice for $500 from t-mobile, went to a t-mobile store, said that my account looked weird, and they had recorded me as not owning my phone, despite a clear account history that I paid full price for the phone and didn't owe anything.
Still get collection notices, but it's now over 7 years, and my credit card recovered by some 70 points or so when it aged out.
I actually found the NYT cancellation process to be relatively painless to be honest. That’s how accustomed I am to painful cancellation experiences.
A letter to the regulators, though, a few days later I got a call from a much more friendly person who made it work like it should have. It's amazing how much better companies behave when the regulators come calling.
This cancellation process never considered the impact of internet cancel culture and rage reactions. It's far easier to damage a brand than it is to build it up.
?? I automatically assume that articles that are written by NYT, NewYorker, and The Guardian are complete BS and should be ignored.
0 journalism found there.
Wanna spend money somewhere? Spend it on The Atlantic or Bloomberg.
It's depressing because the NYT was more of a mainstream liberal newspaper whose main crimes were a lack of critical attitude towards foreign policy (such as the weapons of mass destruction fiasco). Its domestic reporting was decent. Now the domestic reporting is pitting Americans against one another.
NewYorker, New York Times, The Information
The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, The Politico (at least in the EU)
Can you please elaborate on why you feel that way?
For a younger person, perhaps they wouldn't notice? I have been reading NYT and Guardian since the early 2000s, and canceled the NYT this summer when they failed to report really major events in NYC that didn't match narrative (looting and rioting that was directly observable for two days). I realized at that point we had a real problem.
The Guardian has always been more openly activist, and I have a lot of respect for their Snowden work. But Trump being in the front page for four years was a bit much.
I'm pretty happy with Reuters and to a lesser degree Bloomberg (whom I pay per month 7 times what I was paying for the NYT subscription).
Unlikely considering the general popularity of articles highlighting their incompetence/malfeasance. See: slatestarcodex articles of the last week
It is such a scummy tactic. I tell everyone not to subscribe to NYT just based on that experience.
Was asked if i was suuuuuuure i wanted to leave, 3 separate times before it canceled.
Definitely not thinking of doing that again, or like i do for some streaming services, pay for a couple months, stop, then pay for a few more.
(It seems like you DO keep them until the end of the trial, but you only get told that after cancelling)
Together with their decreased support quality (agents barely understanding what I write + the typical "tell the customer what they want to hear so they go away and give you a good CSAT, by the time they realize you lied it won't matter for you anymore"), I have a _very_ low opinion of Amazon. They still have a service (delivery time), price (free shipping) and consistency advantage in many cases, but it's quickly shrinking, and I am much more likely to buy from alternative places if they can make a competitive offer.
When I found myself slowly buying fewer things on Amazon a few years ago and decided to cancel Prime after many years as a subscriber, I was so grossed out by the cancellation process that I’ve actively avoided ordering from them ever since.
¹ it was a bit of a mess, they first tried to bill an empty credit card, but only notified me after several attempts when prime was actually suspended. I added a regular credit card, but they don't conform to the new EU rules about authentication so it just got declined. Again, they didn't tell me they were even trying. So I added a SEPA account which is possible through the UI, but apparently they required a credit card. In the end I just cancelled, and re-signed up under the amazon of the country I live in (which is fairly new, hence not doing it the first time.) At least I get another free trial month for the hassle.*
Just the fact that I–a software engineer and longtime Amazon customer–felt compelled to open a new tab and Google questions about the cancellation process, seemed ridiculous to me. Plenty of less tech savvy folks are sure to have been confused, tricked or given up in the process.
I assume that eating the cost of a bad purchase is cheaper for them than upsetting a long-term customer.
On one occasion when I had to return an item I ended up £30 out of pocket because it had to go by courier instead of post, due to length. I had to argue with their customer support to obtain recompense despite it having been them who told me to send it courier. The item was only worth £80.
Nowadays I just use Amazon as a price baseline but shop elsewhere.
On memberships, I don't mind the Prime cancelling issues very much because they seem to always credit back a month if you later tell them you forgot to cancel. Unfortunately, there are annoying dark patterns when signing up, hiding the "No thanks" button when trying to get through an order, etc.
The only thing I noticed is they hide the collection options under a button. By default they encourage you to drop off at a depot or post office.
Now I'm still waiting for a product I ordered 3 months ago. The
only option I have is contacting the seller - who doesn't
respond. I wrote a review about the experience, which then got
More recently I've ordered a few things from multiple places,
the one outstanding delivery is from Amazon, and now almost a
week late. It'll probably be the last one; their obvious lack of
interest regarding fake reviews, review resetting and
obfuscation, misleading pricing, counterfeit products and the
constantly shrinking number of quality products have taken a
toll. More often than not products are shipped from China,
making it a worse choice than many local competitors who may ask
higher prices for delivery but at least ship in two days instead
of two weeks, have a phone support hotline and a reason to care.
Very slowly but steadily the reasons I started using Amazon's
platform eroded away until it became more or less a more
approachable middleman for aliexpress dropshippers.
Cancelation apparently required a fax.
Got a legal friend to help me write a scary letter.
Service was promptly canceled.
Exceptions will exist, but the general rule is such.
No, it is subscription. Much like a magazine subscription, where you are purchasing the magazine each month, you are purchasing credits each month that you can use to buy audiobooks that you then own (yes yes, do you really “””own”””” things in the digital world of licenses, blah blah). So losing access to the app, and therefore the audiobooks you purchased, is not how it is supposed to work.
But THIS is how it works. This reality doesn't fit your paradigm. But the reality prevails.
In other words, when you stop paying them.. it stops. You can no longer consume the goods, past-present-future. You call it subscription. I call it a service. Because in my mind a subscription to a Newspaper is "News-as-a-Service. I stop paying Amazon, I lose the AWS. I stop paying the Economist, I lose access to all (present-past-future) issues.
Downvote all you want. Call it what you want. Still.. someone give me an example where the subscription ENDED, and they still have access to the Benefits. If not.. you're welcome. NaaS. Unless you get the paper-copy. Then you ACTUALLY bought the "News" and ONLY because YOU control the physical medium (the paper its printed on).
Literally Audible. The person that couldn't access the app is not the norm and likely had some sort of problem. You can access the app after you cancel and can continue to download and listen to books you've already bought. That is why it is a subscription, not a service.
I will not subscribe again after this experience.
I don't know. Ask Amazon I guess?
My point is that it's wrong to attribute this to a "fragile" business model. It's just plain, old greed and contempt for the customer.
Apart from that, they're great.
"Mr. Freidman, who was partners with Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, disclosed the plan in a 2012 speech at Yeshiva University. "
I think the primary feature is limiting the damage of a compromise.
It sounds great to also use this as a way for the customer to cancel service with an unwilling company, but I think in practice they may come after you with a collection agency.
I'd bet that a small percentage of cancellation requests are waylaid by these sorts of underhanded tactics. Even if the success rate is low, it's still not zero.
Yes, because it actually does work. If you need proof, just call up one of these companies and say "I am cancelling because your service is too expensive." Odds are decent that you will get some type of promo offer to keep you. If there is any competition in your area for internet/cable and you have never done this, you are wasting money.
OP could have also had any number of other problems that could have been solved by these retention specialists. Basically they are doing the equivalent of an IT person asking if you have turned it off and back on again. That might be frustrating for the type of people who read HN and know better, but the reason they ask it is because there are legitimately issues that can be solved by this extremely basic level of support.
They are WILDLY successful. Their operating profit jumped 28% last year and literally are blowing away the competition in overall subscriber numbers and growth. It's really not even close
So to answer your question, yes, it probably does reduce churn, if only slightly. Is there an occasional person who goes to try and cancel, runs into this byzantine process and then says, ah fuck it, I'll just stay subscribed so they don't have to deal with this bullshit? Yes, but probably only infrequently.
Instead, it infuriates all the rest who DO go thru the byzantine process and add more frustrating to whatever reason they were already intent on canceling from in the first place, as was demonstrated in this OP's chat transcript.
However much annoying these processes are (I had to suffer an identical Financial Times cancellation process last week) They know how much it costs to take cancelling users through an account specialist and presumably they get enough people to continue subscription to make it worth while.
A continuing paying customer now is worth far more than someone who may subscribe again in the future. And even if you're sick of their cancellation process, if you want to read NY Times news again you'll signup.
My guess is there are a lot of potential subscribers reading stories like this and deciding not to bother with a subscription.
Thousands of Americans Waste $348 a Year on Subscriptions They’re Not Using 
It makes perfect sense to have a 'shield' that will minimize the 'quitters'. And this article focuses on streaming services only.
People who want to leave a service are probably NOT coming back. So an effort to keep vs lose forever has little downside.
Edit/addition: regarding your ".. I wonder if this isn't a profitable practice though."
Well they keep doing it, so.. at some point they ran the numbers and they saw it is better for them. Perhaps in 10y this may change, we will notice by the change of corporate practices. Profit will determine this.
I replied to them no less than 5 times, each time pointing out that (a) I don't have time for phone calls (b) their terms and conditions permits cancelling by e-mail.
Another way is to notify them once by e-mail to end your subscription per [insert T&C clause and citation] and just stop paying. If they don't get payment they'll stop anyway, and if they come chasing after you, you have the notification you sent.
When they asked the reason, I said that political coverage was unfair. Left is OK, unfair is not.
I don't consider myself "on the left" but I really don't mind a publication being left of center or right of center. If it's good, I will pay for it (I subscribed tp The Atlantic at least twice, and the New Yorker once, and probably others in a mix of print and digital).
But the NYT has drifted too far down the path of politically-correct fashions, and away from robust debate and discussion of challenging topics and how they intersect with real events.
It feels more like they want to persuade me to hold a set of opinions (which shifts rapidly), rather than informing me and letting me form my own. "Persuade" is even the wrong word; more like "pressure" or "coerce". If it's all ads, so be it; but when I pay, I expect that I am the customer and not the product. So I don't pay as of the end of my billing cycle.
Also, the NYT cheers on, and even participates in bullying. Scott Alexander being a recent example, but there are a lot more when it comes to politically-charged topics.
I should reiterate that this is not a right-left thing. I would have remained subscribed if the NYT had simply drifted left, and concerned itself mainly with arguments betweed various left-of-center factions. Lots of worthwhile things to discuss and debate there, and lots of events to tie it to.
Glad more people are realizing this. It's harder to spot/acknowledge for people on the left since the biased coverage feeds into their worldview...in my opinion it's artificially solidified their confidence on how "correct" they feel they are about political topics.
The next step in this realization is nothing to do with one-sided reporting, it's the massive scale of what selectively gets ignored or hidden.
Maybe your opinion has more to do with how weird and dispatched from reality American politics has become and less with how the NYT wants to brainwash you, or whatever you think they're doing?
My sense is many (most?) of the commenters here are off-put by the latter category.
Edit: the reference to Krugman as significantly “left” just registered, and I don’t think that’s what people are referring to —- or even that most of NYT’s new guard would consider Krugman to be a leftist
The NYT’s views on race relations are so far from normal Europeans that Macron called them an existential threat to France.
There was recently an attempted insurrection based on fake news, you know.
I must say though that Fox News has gotten downright rational (on all things) since then. Politically biased, sure, but they're actually news lately.
The comment doesn't say anything about people on the right being immune to it (and I would suspect there's a similar effect there in reverse, for eg Fox News).
I don't see misbehavior on the right as a justification for lazy, manipulative groupthink by the NYT, or outright bullying. Especially when they are clearly capable of good reporting.
The implied reverse therefore would be that it's easier for people on the right to see bias in the media. Not that the right dont have bias.
Yeah, that's also what I read. And as evidence to the contrary I pointed out that some people had their world view changed so much that they tried to overthrow the government.
Which tells me that they didn't see the agenda they were being pushed.
Which contradicts the comment's point.
Note that in no way do I disagree that the left has a problem too.
As in, both sides are equally bad for similar but different reasons but we only hear about a singular event that some whack jobs on the far right pulled off. Compare to my local media as an example which buried the story about the violence around a "citizen" road block until a seven year old was murdered as her family tried to go past. Even then it was buried with stories of police violence or right wing threats.
No, those of us who lean to the right know the nut jobs and there that line begins but there where that line is for my left leaning friends is beyond me to understand.
I would invite you to foxnews.com. As an example for the last week the front page has been plasted with Cuomo.
And CHAZ? A complete disaster that was absolutely not a secret.
You say that the line is clear on the right, but I think it's just that it's clear to you. The fake news that the election was stolen is actually mainstream, on the right. Trump had some ordinary people injest bleach, you don't think many more believed the other lies?
Do you think most people on the left supported the 2020 summer riots? Or defund the police? Even polling of black people had a huge majority against that nonsense. Some do. But then some on the right think Biden's about to be arrested when trump returns with the military in two weeks.
My point is that "especially on the left" has no connection in reality. "Also on the left" does.
I've noticed that national news outlets in the US tend to be better when their preferred party is in power and worse when the opposition is in power. I suspect it's because in the latter case the news outlets slant all of their coverage towards negativity and discrediting the opposition.
I thought CNN was much more tolerable during the Obama administration, but watching them over the last few years has consistently left my frustrated. Meanwhile, the reverse has been true for Fox News. That said, I don't consume much from either outlet.
But yes, they were bananas under obama too.
If anything that’s all the more reason to be very mindful of the same effect occurring in other media publications.
It shows a strong assumption that while that commenter is able to see the difference between bias and misinformation, the left cannot. And I don't buy it.
Neither people who watch Fox News nor people who watch NBC News buy it hook line and sinker.
So considering there was an attempted coup, and that many people still believe the election was rigged and that trump will come back in power (arresting biden) in the beginning of March doesn't exactly speak well for the "especially on the left".
And it’s totally true when you’re countering the real charlatans of the right like Tom Cotton or Ted Cruz (to focus on American politics) But not a valid blanket statement whatsoever.
I'm not american but reading NYT during the elections, I was astonished by how much NYT was blaming Trump for everything, and never say anything positive about him. Now I treat newspapers as propaganda.
I actually stopped reading any news at all except bloomberg a month ago and can't be happier.
I wonder who it is referring people to HN for this purpose.
I am currently struggling to come up with something about Trump
that's not mostly negative. Maybe his honesty in the Woodward
calls? That's stretching it a bit, and only highlights how
dishonest he's been in public. His response to Covid and natural
disasters? So bad it better be incompetence rather than malice.
His refusal to clearly distance himself from hate groups? His
refusal to pay his own lawyers? Trump University and all the
No, I'm lost, I might be missing something. Please explain what
Trump did well that isn't considered morally questionable.
The guy was calling the whole thing a hoax, I don't know what credit he should get for anything.
Trump's base overwhelmingly believes it's a hoax. So is "left" wing media lying to me that he says it's a hoax, or is right wing media lying to all his supporters that it's a hoax?
The topics I understand as being pushed by the left in the US just seem so centerist to me, based on the political landscape that I'm living in.
Single payer health care, minimum wage increases, increases in social support nets... So many topics I'd love to hear the argument against from any stand point that isn't pure capitalist greed.
If we can agree on judging policies, platforms, ideologies and beliefs on a shared set of criteria, then we can move forward, otherwise we're just shouting at each-other.
You can tell me all day long that it's fair for me to get my stuff taken away without my consent by an entity because I got born within it's "borders"; but that won't make it fair for me within my moral framework, irrespective of how much I deplore the suffering of the poor and unfortunate and want to help them.
> in my opinion it's artificially solidified their confidence on how "correct" they feel they are about political topics.
I was wondering what topics these were.
It would be perfectly centrist for a couple states to enact the policies you mention, assuming they can work out the details and balance the books. When these policies turn into wild success stories, other states might follow.
It probably makes sense to start with some small-medium sized, well-governed blue states first, like when MA implemented Romneycare.
But the left position is to enact these polcies nationally across the US, which has >10x the number of people in your country. And there are a ton of details that nobody really even wants to talk about, and no plan to adapt when things don't work out. So, we are just supposed to trust Congress with a huge amount of extra money and a lot more power because the title of the bill sounds nice?
There are also a lot of policies that seem uniquely designed to punish the "right". I am pro-choice, but I recognize that a lot of people in the US are really, really not. But a lot of people on the left don't just want it legal, they want to use taxpayer money to pay for it. Think about how that makes tens of millions of evangelical Christians feel? There are enough pro-choice organziations that they can pool money from pro-choice people to subsidize abortions. The taxpayer money isn't needed. Why force it?
The obvious answer is of course that health care is a public service and should not be reliant on charitable organizations, which would be absolutely ridiculous. (Yes reproductive care is health care, arguments made from personal feelings or believes are not a worthy retort against medical scientific consensus)
But abortion funding is not the domain of the federal government and there is not much reason for it to be. There are plenty of private citizens who are pro choice and could fund abortion subsidies. It would probably be easier to do that than fight a political battle over it, which also costs money.
A government should govern the people that are actually here, not who you wish were here. Maybe in some places nobody minds abortion, but the US is not one of those places. So, we've got to respect those tens of millions of people at least enough to not spend their money on abortion.
If we should respect the views of tens of millions of people in one area, we should do it in another. If we think that life is sacred and we shouldn’t spend federal money to end it, let’s be consistent.
there are significant gaps in funding for these services, especially in underprivileged areas.
Would you support increasing WIC and other benefits for these children? Because if not, this policy decision would increase the number of people who grow up hungry.
Not saying that's a bad thing, but I think it would qualify as left-wing in most countries.
Agreed about social safety nets and most other policies. Sometimes it feels Americans don't realize how uniquely chaotic and inefficient their system is, compared to every other western country. The healthcare system in particular.
Australia's minimum wage for people over 21 is over $15 USD for full time work, and over $19 USD for part time (you receive a 25% casual loading rate increase for part time work).  That comes out to about 70% of their GDP per capita (working 38 hours per week, 50 weeks a year). The US going to $15 an hour would only be 43% of GDP per capita. If the US paid its minimum wage workers according to our actual economic output per person, our minimum wage would be $24 an hour, to match Australia. I wouldn’t really call $15 an hour radical.
An increase in the minimum wage will help a little, but having affordable health care works help more.
By 2025, and only for Federal workers. The small print in that promise that only came out after the election.
I know it's a recent trend but I thought the capitalization was applied to all ethnicities.
To quote the link you posted:
>"Racial and ethnic groups are designated by proper nouns and are capitalized. Therefore, use “Black” and “White” instead of “black” and “white” (do not use colors to refer to other human groups; doing so is considered pejorative)."
However, the NYT:
>"The Times also looked at whether to capitalize white and brown in reference to race, but both will remain lowercase. Brown has generally been used to describe a wide range of cultures, Mr. Baquet and Mr. Corbett said in their memo to staff. As a result, its meaning can be unclear to readers; white doesn’t represent a shared culture and history in the way Black does, and also has long been capitalized by hate groups."
Edit. Side note. Maybe I should write to the NYT and tell them I'm a White African and they're not representing my cultural and historical identity!
The NY Times promoted an extremely suspect hypothesis about the American Revolution (that it was fought in order to preserve slavery - there's essentially no evidence for this hypothesis), and got push-back from some of the top historians of the US. The NY Times' response was essentially, "You're wrong, and we're not changing anything." Then the NY Times' own fact checker published an article in Politico pointing out that she had warned the NY Times not to claim the revolution was fought in order to preserve slavery, but that the NY Times had ignored her. That finally prompted the NY Times to issue a slight modification of their claim ("some" of the colonists fought to preserve slavery - which colonists is completely unclear, but at least the updated statement is so vague that it can't be disproven).
All around, it was clear that the NY Times had an agenda to push, and they didn't care if historians disagreed. That didn't stop the 1619 Project from winning a Pulitzer, though!
Not saying if that's the right thing to do or not but personally it's not something I'd ever pay for.
> I should reiterate that this is not a right-left thing.
This very likely is a right-left thing:
* The NYT systematically avoided the term "torture" in everything except op-eds when describing the Bush admin's post-911 torture program
It's difficult to think of a more dastardly use of political correctness than a newspaper employing a euphemism for torture that effectively softens the blow in their stories about a government torture program.
Obviously if you knew about this but still subscribed to NYT anyway while now unsubscribing for problems wrt left-thing political correctness, that's a "right-left thing." (And however bad we both agree their left-thing political correctness problem is, it can't possibly be worse than systematically dressing up torture.)
But even if you didn't know about it, it's still the same problem. At best your comment makes it seem like NYT gave in to its long-standing penchant for left-leaning fashions, and that ended up actually damaging its ability to do robust reporting. That interpretation makes a special case of the entire Keller period when the most important stories were scuttled in deference to the Bush administration. That period includes refusing repeatedly to run some of the most impactful stories-- like Jim Risen's on the Bush-Cheney domestic spying program-- because the government told them not to. That period is in major "never forget" territory wrt to journalistic integrity.
Giving into left-leaning fashions is bad not because of the "left-leaning" part; its bad because of the "fashions" part. It's lazy groupthink at best, and bullying people into conformity at worst.
Have you noticed how narrow and specific all of the rules for reporting have become? Do you honestly believe that leftism is defined by these narrow rules, many of which are changing rapidly?
No. Most left-leaning people don't believe this stuff (how could a normal person even change their beliefs from one day to the next?). They go along with it because either they are too scared of getting bullied themselves; or because it's mostly hurting the right, and they believe they can regain control of the discourse after the right is diminished.
But it's easy to destroy good discourse and hard to rebuild it. After the right gets marginalized, we won't go to open-minded chats over coffee among left-leaning folks. It will be these same horrible tactics over the most minor differences of opinion on the left. Proponents of socialized medicine will be doxxing proponents of Medicare for all. There will be no end to the ridiculousness.
I guess people try to be polite and come up with a reason for cancelling their subscription, and this reason could be solved by customer support. It is not being polite to try to please Tony from customer support, he is just doing his job and does not care about polite reasons for cancelling, his job is that you do not cancel. It is important to know what you *really* want before contacting them (or any other company), in case they use this kind of trick to confuse you.
First article had 12 paragraphs, and a grand total of 12 sentences. 7 of those are quotes/paraphrases of what people said/claimed. Oh and the page had 20 ad images.
60% of the article is "s/he said X". The remaining 40% are low-fat versions of something one can find on Wikipedia.
10 paragraphs, 11 sentences. 5 are quotes/paraphrases. 15 (fifteen) ad images!
That is not journalism, that's Twitter with extra steps, masquerading as news. At this point, if I didn't know any better, I'd call Reuters a glorified ad farm!
I had heard horror stories about needing to call customer service, but they must have heard those complaints, because now their unsubscribe process is a simple form.
I'm sure they mean well, and hopefully their journalism department also has an ear to the ground. It'd be nice if they returned to centrist investigative journalism soon.
And Africa has about triple the population of Europe. So what makes Europe the default point of comparison? (More reporters having done a semester abroad at Barcelona than Lagos is not a valid answer.) Heck why restrict ourselves to the present? How about by the standards of all of human history? Even Fox News would be left wing in 1750.
The simple answer is that it’s very dumb to arbitrarily compare against a different society, with a different history and different culture. American institutions should benchmark on American mores, not grasp at politics from entirely different continents.
In the US, "left" tends to be centered around social and cultural issues, such as racism, sexism, immigrant rights, abortion rights, affirmative action, or increasingly things like white privilege - what is sometimes derisively called identity politics.
In Europe, "left" tends to be centered around the economic sense of the term, that is, socialism, communism, redistribution of wealth, social safety nets, etc.
By US standards, many European politicians are on the far right because of their social and cultural views. By European standards, most US politicians are on the right or even far right because of their economic views, whereas they're to a European perspective absolutely extreme on the social politics scale.
In general, while they're handy for bandying about in a very general sense, I don't think political axes between countries can be compared in a very meaningful way. There are all kinds of bizarre mismatches even in the same domains - for example, the VAT would be considered a very regressive tax favored only by the more extreme libertarian-conservative types in the US, but it's hardly seen that way in Europe.
It means something different to you. The US is a big country, and your understanding of the left is pretty shallow and certainly doesn't speak for the whole country.
That you say the left is centered on ID politics is evidence that you're out of touch with leftist politics. I would venture to say because there's not a loud leftist voice in the mainstream media.
Although I am leery of placing myself on a political axis for the same reason, I think most people would consider me a leftist. Certainly they would think so based on my voting record, with a couple of exceptions.
Firstly, it may be - and I think is probably - the case that the average self-described liberal or independent in the US does not prioritize most culture war issues, or identity politics issues. They might instead be more concerned about conventionally leftist economic policies, like raising the minimum wage or improving safety nets.
But that's not, by-and-large, what political campaigns, politicians, or the news media focuses on. Cultural issues and (increasingly) identity politics surrounding specific issues take up an immense amount of bandwidth in the US to a degree they do not in Europe - or if an analogous issue does, the battle lines are drawn and the conversation is framed in a totally different way. Even issues that are the 'same' are often downstream of US politics.
I don't think this is an argument that there's no loud leftist voice in the mainstream media. That is maybe true, in the conventional sense. But it's not because the media is conservative or reactionary in some sense - there's a similar problem on the right; if anything, this was strongly illustrated by Trump's success - Trump brought to the forefront issues like immigration restriction that had wide support among the voting base but very weak to no support in the conservative political and media establishment. It's because the "leftists" who are actually in power, and control large 'leftist' institutions, care more about identity politics and culture war issues than they do about conventional leftist economic policies. US politics on both sides is charged along different lines than in other countries.
There's no doubt similar phenomena in Europe - it's not as though politics as represented by politicians and in the news accurately reflects the desires of the people there, either. Nor is Europe a unified block either, so we're being a little sloppy. But this is still a substantial difference.
At any rate, there's still other issues I mentioned like VAT - VAT would never fly in the US even if the "left" took complete power because liberals would consider it horrifically regressive!
It's all relative. From a communist perspective, most of Europe is a laissez faire free market. Private control of the press!? Hah!
From Europe's mildly-socialist perspective, America is a laissez faire free market. Private control of healthcare and education!? Hah!
I'm not making value judgements. Just pointing out its a spectrum.
That’s because you’re using the term incorrectly: right-wing authoritarian states were just as perilous for those who disagreed – imagine being a left-wing business owner under Hitler or Pinochet! You’d much prefer living in “left-wing” Sweden unless you were very right-wing.
The mistake is trying to use a single term to compare multidimensional properties. The degree to which power is centralized in the state is independent from economic and social policies, and you can find examples of many combinations depending on which characteristics you’re interested in (for example, the Soviet Union was good for the perspective of opening career paths for women and terrible for gay rights while Nazi Germany was bad at both, and no single term comparison is going to cover that).
Is this true, though? With full socialism isn't control supposed to be pooled by citizens? If anything, it's more akin to libertarianism, just that instead of citizens self-organizing in groups to manage bits and pieces they self-organize in groups managing everything.
You would have a better analogy if you used "socialism" rather than "communism".
The problem is they are treating politics like fashion, where it's super specific and constantly changing. And they are bullying (or cheering it on, at least) anyone who doesn't conform.
Whether these specific fashions they promote are "left" or "right" or "center" was immaterial to my decision to cancel.
> But I can no longer do the work that you brought me here to do—the work that Adolph Ochs described in that famous 1896 statement: “to make of the columns of The New York Times a forum for the consideration of all questions of public importance, and to that end to invite intelligent discussion from all shades of opinion.”
It's a little amusing to see liberals trying to describe this for the first time. Harper's is unequivocally further left than NYT. It's also less grating.
To me, that's because the "left-ish" bias of NYT takes the form of telling the reader to be afraid of certain people or groups of people, whether it's Tom Cotton who wants to "send in the troops" or some little-known blogger. Which stands in direct contradiction to the ideals of what most people think of as leftism.
Bias is tolerable and probably inevitable; a politics of fearmongering is not.
If I recall correctly both predict the collapse of France, like clockwork, every few years (especially because French policies are slightly more socialist and both publications are super business).
And of course, both look down on non-Anglosphere countries, in general :-)
I don't know where you get that from. Any examples?
> You have to be aware of their biases, though.
A point of view is not a bias. The Economist was founded as a pro-market liberal (classically liberal) publication. A Marxist would consider that a bias I guess?
I think it's a mostly respectable magazine with a high degree of journalistic integrity (e.g. the recent High Court case). They have some fantastic contributors. Like any publication there are some that are a bit "out there" for my tastes, Delingpole comes to mind, but they pale in comparison to some of the opinion pieces the Guardian publishes. But because of its mild association with the word "right", I know many of my peers would be unpalatable.
My complaint about the NYT and many other news sources is absurd combination of a hyper-specific and rapidly-changing set of beliefs, along with brutal enforcement of those beliefs.
My challenge to you: write down your beliefs on a controverial topic (on paper). Wait 6 months and pick up the NYT. My prediction: they will be in the process of canceling someone for those same beliefs, and you will shred the piece of paper out of fear.
OK, maybe that's an exaggeration. But I wouldn't be shocked if it was too close for comfort.
It's definitely right-of-center and doesn't mind cocking a snook at left-wing holy cows, but it's not a "reactionary troll factory".
Magazines publishing centre-right views are fine. But if what you are seeking is a news publication that doesn't push a particular agenda, then The Spectator is pretty much as far away from it as you can get outside of Pravda.
You're right, of course, that it publishes some mild centre-right commentators with uncontroversial conservative views. That doesn't really compensate, in my view, for the provision of space to writers like Liddle and Young. These particular people are reactionary trolls; their writing contains little other than disinformation deliberately intended to stoke culture-war nonsense, and they're too smart to believe what they write. This stuff does little more than make society worse for everyone.
But I'd say regardless of your views on individual commentators or the overall quality of the publication – if someone wants to avoid the NYT because it is campaigning too much, then directing them to The Spectator is laughable.
I haven't said the Guardian or NYT is better.
It's not "disagreement" -- they regularly publish easily checkable objectively false information.
Watching this thread for suggestions. I'm thinking international, as foreign outlets will be less susceptible to American fashions.