New York Times gets Gizmodo treatment from Apple after negative reports

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  • tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,437member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post


    When periodicals were more about news and less about advertising and subscriptions (which is itself a mistaken view because at one level or another, you need subscriptions and ad revenue to keep the lights on and the presses running) and media was less electronic and more analog - there was LESS pressure to generate hits or popularize the "news" and better (not perfect) focus on capturing the reality of a situation.



    Yes, in those days they may well have led with stories about Apple as a hook, but then continued on to report the why of situations of Foxconn's, where you have a huge influx of young people trying to escape the sub-poverty of rural/argricultural China, working long hours because it means you have more money to send home to support the rest of your family. That you committed suicide because that relieved the huge amount of pain experienced trying to adapt to isolated urban living from family based community living at home. And your company promises to send home a large sum of money as a death benefit for your family - little realizing that it would encourage suicides. And that the Chinese government is allowing these operations to grow because it builds and reinforces the Chinese economy by using one of their most expendable assets - people.



    And yes the garment industry there is hellacious compared to Foxconn and Pegatron electronics manufacturers, as is mining, metalworking/smelting, mineral processing, and of course the subsistence level farming that a large portion of the Chinese population lives on. But that Dell, HP Sony, Samsung all were using Foxconn for assembly long before Apple came onboard - in fact most PCs in that 90th percentile of the PC market under Windows is built or componentized largely under the Foxconn label. That's nearly a billion and a half units starting well before the iDevice revolution.



    But in fact the NYT article didn't dig into the actual issues, the cultural issues or the economic issues. Those all got a quick gloss and the superficial link-baiting tarring of Apple took precedence instead. The media organizations are being thoroughly disrupted by the iDevice/post-PC paradigm shift, and necessity drives action. You could argue that since Apple has been at the helm of the paradigm shift, that the NYT would want to target them as the source of the impact, and mitigate their own failure to be nimble enough to ride the changing media environment back to a successful model.



    No news organization is un-agendaed or unbiased. Anyone who claims that is woefully uneducated about journalism, and about how the large media houses influence the agendas and biases. This is why you have openly competing biases now.



    No one, including Tim Cook, is trying to give Apple a free ride on driving better working conditions for the world's workers that build the products we consume. But to openly target the one company on record as trying to mitigate the issues, when so many other companies are silent and not open about doing the same thing, while enjoying the benefits of having their popular consumer devices built under similar or worse circumstances. And then to use exclusively anonymous ex-executives to criticize Apple's alleged internal attitudes, doesn't reinforce the strength of the report, it undermines it. Anytime someone relies on the demand for anonymity to report on things like that is a strong indicator that they have a personal agenda to push. Usually in the past, they would use anonymous sources to buttress a strong amount of evidence provided by known sources. NYT didn't do that either. Journalistically from an historical perspective, it was rather pathetic. Moreso if the Pulitzer organization decides to give them a prize for it, simply for the human interest angle. But then Pulitzer is populated by news editors, and itself has been accused of bias in it's own decisions about awards.



    Well said.
  • nuttyappledudenuttyappledude Posts: 3member
    Wise man say



    "Keep your friends close but your enemies closer"







    I think apple should reconsider their strategy fast. Honestly, what have they got to be afraid of?
  • focherfocher Posts: 547member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    OK. You pay $5,000.00 for your iPad. The normal people pay $500.



    Fair enough?



    We've actually seen this play out before. Greenpeace was highly critical of Apple's use of environmentally unfriendly materials in devices. Apple responded to the message - either because it didn't like the negative publicity or because it really cares to reduce the usage of environmentally friendly materials - and we all have actually safer devices now as a result.



    You can argue as to Apple's motivation, but it seems fair to say that shining a light on certain behaviors does effectuate change. I personally have no problem with reporting on Apple's or any other company's behavior, because it motivates the company to improve...for whatever reason.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,288member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nuttyappledude View Post


    Wise man say



    "Keep your friends close but your enemies closer"



    I think apple should reconsider their strategy fast. Honestly, what have they got to be afraid of?



    The last time Apple kept their enemies close, Android was stolen from iOS.



    The time before that, Windows was stolen from Mac OS.



    They know what they're doing better than you.
  • appleciderapplecider Posts: 72member
    The times thinks that capitalism in it's pure form is evil, and that they, the nyt are the watchdogs for social abuse. They think that all those who make money should have a responsibility to take care of the evils of society and that any company that is successful must be abusing the masses and child abuse (child labor) is the poster boy for this attitude. Since they are the watchdogs and they have the mission to prevent abuse it is ok if they over report a story because they are morally in the right as they expose the mean capitalist companies who must be causing human suffering because they are making so much money. In their minds if they are a little wrong on a story, as long as they are morally right it is ok. That's what we are seeing here with this article. Pretty much standard story line for the NYT. By the way the TV show law and order takes this same formula to the extreme, it used to be a show worth watching but for the past 5 years the show has just become too pious and predictable (child abuse righteous indignation, cops who exude empathy). For the times it is company makes money, company abuses workers, company is evil has no compassion or ruins environment, or heats the planet we, the nyt, prove that financial success only comes to those step on the backs of others and take unfair advantage.

    Now the question is whether this is pay back for making print media superfluous, or for some perceived slight in the past, or for being used by Jobs in the past.

    Jobs knew how to handle the times, Cook is showing that he has a pair as well. In the business world when you get pushed you have to push back.
  • freerangefreerange Posts: 1,472member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anthropic View Post


    It's such a pity Apple behaves so poorly, their childish corporate behaviour really detracts from what should be more news about their awesome products.



    And you are a fk'ng moron!
  • sierrajeffsierrajeff Posts: 366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by radster360 View Post


    Nice going Apple! I am sure New York Times will write another negative editorial about their mis-treatment!



    What are they supposed to do? Turn a blind eye? Cooperate as though the NYT was *not* in the wrong in singling out Apple, of all companies, when discussing Chinese manufacturing issues?



    I think Apple's done exactly the right thing here.
  • sierrajeffsierrajeff Posts: 366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Oleia View Post


    Calling ALL JOURNALIST, BLOGGERS, the media as a whole to take action and condemn such acts by Apple in trying to control the freedom of speaking and/or writing whether for or against the company.



    Uh, you're free to "speak and/or write" whatever the frack you want. "Freedom of speech" doesn't mean others have to listen to you, help you, accommodate you, etc. The only thing the First Amendment says is that *government* can't abridge an individual's right to speak. Private citizens and companies can (and should) tell you to shove it, if they don't like what you're saying.



    For you to tell Apple otherwise directly violates your own precept!
  • freerangefreerange Posts: 1,472member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Oleia View Post


    Calling ALL JOURNALIST, BLOGGERS, the media as a whole to take action and condemn such acts by Apple in trying to control the freedom of speaking and/or writing whether for or against the company. This is not about the stated article any more, this is already a form of manipulation whether directly or indirectly to withhold information which are against Apple and which the public must know.



    Apple, being the attraction and currently being in the limelight, must realize that in your current position as a "Leader" in consumer electronics garners attention and being thrust into public scrutiny is inevitable. You are not perfect and the public will surely criticize. What you should do is improve, take action, prove whats true and whats not true and not to resort to your "childish" acts towards NYTimes.



    Please please please either pull your head out of your as-s, or if that's not going to work, push it further in!
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,080member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anthropic View Post


    It's such a pity Apple behaves so poorly, their childish corporate behaviour really detracts from what should be more news about their awesome products.



    Oh, I didn't know you are ENTITLED to receive an invite to my awesome birthday party. Your sense of ENTITLEMENT does not justify calling me "childish".
  • mj4ev3rmj4ev3r Posts: 99member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by luinil View Post


    That's very bad communication tactics.

    The public (except some apple addicts like here..) will not think that they punished the NYT for telling lies, but for telling the truth Apple wanted to hide.



    The "Evil Apple" image is growing every day, and such practice won't help with that.



    No worries, the mainstream media has already LOST all credibility and has tarnished their reputation BEYOND repair!



    GREAT for Apple to provide the NEGATIVE consequence for such irresponsible and SENSATIONAL journalism!
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,080member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vqro View Post


    I agree. Apple should also ban the idiots at engadget. They've turned extemely biased against Apple since they're mostly Android fanboys.



    LOL, true.
  • fecklesstechguyfecklesstechguy Posts: 501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by focher View Post


    SNIP I think it's grossly unfair to call that a hit piece simply because it shows Apple in a negative light. Even Apple did not dispute the factual aspects of the story, but focused that they take their responsibilities seriously and are at the forefront of improving working conditions in their supply chain. The NYT story and Apple's positive efforts are not mutually exclusive. Now one can reasonably complain that Apple is bearing an unreasonable amount of the attention despite other companies also use Foxconn, but that's a red hearing if the underlying facts are true for Apple.



    Things like focus from Greenpeace or NYT articles ultimately make Apple both a better corporate citizen and company, and consumers benefit with safer and more socially conscious products.



    ...the facts were presented in a fair and balanced way - but they weren't now were they? They targeted Apple to the specific if not general exclusion of all the other companies that were working with Foxconn prior to Apple using them. They glossed lightly over the other companies whose volume of units produced not only predated Apple's use of Foxconn, but also contributed materially to the majority market of PCs (for example) and with absolutely no indication that these companies were in fact even giving lip service to improving working conditions. Even though there were companies that were first to abuse, largest volume abusers and nowhere on record as giving a rat's ass for the exploited workers, it is somehow good to take Apple to task for giving a rat's ass, auditing worker conditions and asking for improvements - even though they aren't even close to being the worst abusers of the system they used to be competitive.



    So they (like Greenpeace) in fact go after a company that makes a good target - Apple is the most profitable, the highest rated hit ranking on the internet, and has delivered significant disruptions to several industries in the last decade. In your argument, the ends justifies the means. Which is morally bankrupt because it is the same excuse that led all of these companies to seek out the cheapest labor available to begin with.



    My problem with the NYT piece (and whether it led Apple to not preview the OS update with the NYT is purely immaterial) is not that it is negative, but that it ignores deeper abuses, glosses over social and economic conditions, relies on innuendo and hearsay by anonymous sources to drive hits and ad revenue, period. Their motives are clear by the way they did what they did. This was simply NYT trying to boost NYT on the back of Apple and the Chinese workers' suffering. I wish I could say I'm shocked, but I'm not - and apologizing for the NYT as a purported news org and saying it's ok to be so biased and tunnel-visioned is reprehensible and plays directly into the failing of our 4th estate.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post


    Here is a simple metric: if a worker making iPads can't possibly afford even the cheapest model, the wages are too low.



    Does the Ferrari factory worker own a Ferrari? Your remark was similar to an old adage from the era of Henry Ford's invention of the assembly line and how inexpensive the product was that he wanted to produce. iPads are a high priced luxury item.



    The workers at the plant are not automatically entitled to the same standard of living that the upper middle class citizens in the US are accustomed to. They are not forced to work for Foxconn, they chose to. I'm sure they knew full well what the conditions were like and probably stood in long lines waiting for a chance to work there.
  • airmanchairmanairmanchairman Posts: 314member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post


    It's rather humorous that you call the NYT article real investigative journalism. If they were really at the Foxconn plants and really investigated they would have addresses the fact that HP, Microsoft, and many other American tech companies have their products assembled there. Real investigative journalists would have looked into the recent protests and threats of suicide by workers on the XBox factory line at Foxconn. They ignored it and didn't investigate because it would have dampened the furor they hoped to cause against Apple. That's why this is a textbook example of yellow journalism, not something to be held up and praised.



    You can be sure that they were well aware of the mass suicide threat by the X-Box factory line, easily the most sensational and telling barometer of labour conditions at Foxconn in particular and certain Tiger Economies in general, which occurred around a week before the NYT report published.



    But in choosing to highlight Apple as the main Western perpetrator, they elected to gloss over this newsworthy incident, and thereby let the cat out of the bag as to to their unworthy and biased intentions rather than any truth saying. Odious and reprehensible journalism.
  • alonso perezalonso perez Posts: 385member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by applecider View Post


    The times thinks that capitalism in it's pure form is evil, and that they, the nyt are the watchdogs for social abuse. They think that all those who make money should have a responsibility to take care of the evils of society and that any company that is successful ..., Cook is showing that he has a pair as well. In the business world when you get pushed you have to push back.



    Evil is as evil does, and it has been amply seen that unfettered capitalism is evil, as is pretty much any other unbounded human activity. Religious devotees of capitalism might not want to hear it, but the only viable capitalist countries are those that are willing to regulate it, just like the only viable steam boiler is the one that has a thermostat.



    Your baseless rant on the Times notwithstanding, there is only one thing that matters here, whether the story is close to the truth or far from it.



    If it's close to the truth, and Apple has not denied it, your screed is irrelevant. All that matters is what Apple customers think. Apple customers are on average more liberal than other technology customers. This means they think a lot more like the Times when it comes to working conditions, than unlike it. Apple has pursued these customers and made money from them. Not only that, Apple employees are also on average more liberal.



    Their anger or disappointment in the company is thus something Apple does not like, which is why Tim is not happy. But that's just the way it has to be unless he wants to turn the company into HP.
  • his dudenesshis dudeness Posts: 560member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anthropic View Post


    It's such a pity Apple behaves so poorly, their childish corporate behaviour really detracts from what should be more news about their awesome products.



    You are aware that Foxconn isn't an Apple-own business, but a contractor right? So why say that Apple is acting poorly when it's not even their problem? It's up to the Chinese government and Foxconn to correct whatever falsehoods are being reported by the worst newspaper in the US.
  • his dudenesshis dudeness Posts: 560member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post


    Evil is as evil does, and it has been amply seen that unfettered capitalism is evil, as is pretty much any other unbounded human activity. Religious devotees of capitalism might not want to hear it, but the only viable capitalist countries are those that are willing to regulate it, just like the only viable steam boiler is the one that has a thermostat.



    Your baseless rant on the Times notwithstanding, there is only one thing that matters here, whether the story is close to the truth or far from it.



    If it's close to the truth, and Apple has not denied it, your screed is irrelevant. All that matters is what Apple customers think. Apple customers are on average more liberal than other technology customers. This means they think a lot more like the Times when it comes to working conditions, than unlike it. Apple has pursued these customers and made money from them. Not only that, Apple employees are also on average more liberal.



    Their anger or disappointment in the company is thus something Apple does not like, which is why Tim is not happy. But that's just the way it has to be unless he wants to turn the company into HP.





    Every time I read an article about the supposed abuses and slave like labor being done by 4 year olds at the Foxconn plant, I see pictures of adults sitting down in something akin to clean rooms assembling products. That's a far cry from slave labor and doesn't help the liberal cause of the New York Times at all.



    And what kills me even more is that everyone has an opinion, usually largely influenced by the same liberal trash New York Times, that is completely unfounded. Everyone with an opinion shouldn't have an opinion unless you've actually been to a: China or b: to the Foxconn plant and seen first hand the whipping and forced suicides of preteen child labor forced to work 44 hour days without food and water.
  • goodgriefgoodgrief Posts: 137member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post


    Here is a simple metric: if a worker making iPads can't possibly afford even the cheapest model, the wages are too low.



    I think that's a flawed argument. There's plenty of people in the US that can't afford an iPad either, and they're making much more than the Chinese factory workers. It would be more accurate to say that if a worker can't afford the necessities of life (food, shelter), then the wages are too low. The value of the product being assembled is irrelevant. Even in the US, the average line worker in auto manufacturing plants can't afford the vehicles they're assembling without taking out a multi-year loan (it's more than their annual salary), and even then perhaps not after living expenses are considered. My first job out of college as a software engineer (with a 4-year degree, that's "skilled" labor mind you, not unskilled manufacturing work), fully half of my salary, before taxes, was what an apartment cost to rent in the same area. And I wasn't unique in that. Nobody considered that 'too low'. It was considered a reasonable entry-level salary. If an unskilled Chinese laborer can rent a 1 bedroom apartment for half their monthly salary, and still afford to feed themselves for the month with the other half, why is that unreasonable?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post


    If they have virtually no time off, then the hours are too long.



    That's a little vague, but working 60 hours per week (one of the most recent accusations leveled) is not "too long". There are countries where the US-accepted 40-hour week is considered excessive too. Does that mean that US residents should only work 30 hours per week? For plenty of people in the US, forty to sixty hours is a normal workweek. "Too long" is working for 80 hour weeks for two months, followed by 4 days straight in your office, taking 1 hour power naps every 10 hours or so, just to complete a project. Then getting a whole weekend off and repeating the process all over again. This, I can also say, is from personal experience. On top of that, being salaried, there was no overtime pay - it was 'just part of the job'. Hell, even as a teenager (16-22 years old) I worked 40-80 (and occasionally up to 100) hours per week between two jobs for 4 months out of the year (summers) in order to earn the money I needed. When school was in session I worked 10-20 hours per week on nights & weekends, on top of attending school full-time. Nobody was yelling about underage labor or not enough "time off".



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post


    If they can be made to work at any hour, day or night, with little or no notice, then the conditions are too harsh.



    You're right, forced labor is too harsh. But accepting a job where shift work is a possibility, and known in advance, is not. Even if that means doing night shifts on week and days the next. It's damned rough to work jobs like that, but it hardly counts as a human rights violation. There's low-income individuals in the US that do exactly that; working two jobs, six or seven days per week, just to make ends meet.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post


    China needs to be China, but you don't need to replay the 19th century again every time a country industrializes, particularly if the companies responsible are from the West and already know how that played out.



    No, not play-for-play as it went down in the developed west, and I raised the point that western development has mitigated this somewhat in China, but to a certain extent, you do. It has to come around on it's own, otherwise it's an artificial change and it won't stick. It's a bit of a stretch for a metaphor, but just because your older sibling made mistakes as a teenager and learned from them, doesn't mean you won't make the same mistakes, even if you know about them - it's part of the growth process.
  • sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,560member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    [...] The investigating district attorney in the case later said, "It was obvious they were angry with the company about not being invited to some press conference or some big Apple event. We expected to see a certain amount of professionalism-this is like 15-year-old children talking." [...]



    I wonder if The Verge will become The New Gizmodo. They weren't given any special treatment in the Mountain Lion press rollout. No keynote-for-one like Gruber got. Could be enough to trigger an anti-Apple snark-fest over there.



    OK. Yeah. Maybe that was a little harsh. The Verge crew have apparently already figured out how to use spellcheckers, and may have actually read Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style." Two things that are apparently beyond the grasp of the Gizmodo kiddies.
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