UK newspapers tell Apple its 'web eraser' will put journalism at risk

Posted:
in iOS edited May 14

Following AppleInsider's discovery that Safari will add the ability to selectively turn off online ads, UK newspaper groups have complained to Apple.

A Safari address bar showing a tool dropdown with mentions of 'Erase' and 'Intelligent Browsing' options. A Safari icon is on the left with the text 'Safari 18' below it.
Safari getting new AI tools in iOS 18



The Safari feature AppleInsider uncovered in April 2024 will mean users can elect to automatically remove certain parts of web pages, most likely adverts. It's expected that the feature will be released as part of iOS 18, and it will be part of Apple's AI announcements at WWDC.

According to the Financial Times, news of this feature has prompted the UK's News Media Association to complain. While the Financial Times says that a letter has been sent to Apple's government affairs chief in the UK, about this feature's threat to the future of journalism.

The News Media Association's letter reportedly said that "ad-blocking is a blunt instrument, which frustrates the ability of content creators to sustainably fund their work." It says that journalism could become unsustainable, and that it also raises questions of editorial accountability.

The organization wants to meet with Apple to discuss the feature. Apple has not yet publicly responded.

However, before any sign of this web erasing feature, there are signs of failing editorial accountability. News Media Association does not list what publications are members, although the Financial Times says the membership includes tabloid titles such as The Sun and the Daily Mail.

The Financial Times itself is not a member. The publication also doesn't list the correct job title for the Apple UK person written to, which a quick LinkedIn search shows was presumably Emma Haselhurst, Head of UK Government Affairs, Apple.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,285member
    They may have to do what Google has done with a similar effort: simplifying a search result pointing to a media article by removing adverts is (supposedly) only done with a website owner's permission. An original content provider has the right to monetize their content, and I doubt Apple would disagree. 
    edited May 13 nubus
  • Reply 2 of 19
    brianjobrianjo Posts: 45member
    gatorguy said:
    They may have to do what Google has done with a similar effort: simplifying a search result pointing to a media article by removing adverts is (supposedly) only done with a website owner's permission. An original content provider has the right to monetize their content, and I doubt Apple would disagree. 
    Apple only agrees if they get a 30% cut of the profits.
    appleinsideruserVictorMortimer
  • Reply 3 of 19
    beowulfschmidtbeowulfschmidt Posts: 2,169member

    The News Media Association's letter reportedly said that "ad-blocking is a blunt instrument, which frustrates the ability of content creators to sustainably fund their work." 
    Oh no!

    Anyway...

    Maybe if ad producers weren't such sneaky, greedy, Scheißköpfe, we wouldn't feel so compelled to erase their ads.

    auxiokdupuis77williamlondonsphericVictorMortimerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 19
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,736member
    gatorguy said:
    They may have to do what Google has done with a similar effort: simplifying a search result pointing to a media article by removing adverts is (supposedly) only done with a website owner's permission. An original content provider has the right to monetize their content, and I doubt Apple would disagree. 
    I don't have a problem with ads, it's all the tracking which is done via those ads I have a problem with. When I watch an ad on traditional television, it's not like it places something in my house which monitors what I do after the ad is over. But when an ad is shown in my browser, it can then use a tracker to follow me everywhere I go after that point while browsing. Thankfully browser makers have curtailed this recently, but I'm sure advertisers have found ways around it.


    edited May 13 aderutterappleinsideruserwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 19
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,736member
    brianjo said:
    gatorguy said:
    They may have to do what Google has done with a similar effort: simplifying a search result pointing to a media article by removing adverts is (supposedly) only done with a website owner's permission. An original content provider has the right to monetize their content, and I doubt Apple would disagree. 
    Apple only agrees if they get a 30% cut of the profits.
    And I only agree if the media sources and their affiliates are upfront about what information they're collecting and who they're collecting it for.
    Afarstarwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,803member

    The News Media Association's letter reportedly said that "ad-blocking is a blunt instrument, which frustrates the ability of content creators to sustainably fund their work." 
    Oh no!

    Anyway...

    Maybe if ad producers weren't such sneaky, greedy, Scheißköpfe, we wouldn't feel so compelled to erase their ads.

    EXACTLY! If ads were not so obnoxious I wouldn’t block them. But they are, and I do, and it’s not negotiable. If I hit a site that insists I turn off blocking to load the page, I go elsewhere.
    kdupuis77Afarstarbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    When will ad supported sites get it? If ads didn't take up the whole page I'm trying to read, I wouldn't care. Some pages I can't view on my iPhone as the ad covers it up. Or - they pop all over the place and you can't read or see what you are trying to do. Fix the ad placement and obnoxiousness issue and perhaps we wouldn't strive to block them?
    freeassociate2kdupuis77Afarstarwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    AllMAllM Posts: 66member
    Good riddance. Most outlets have little to do with professional journalism anyway. They're blogs at best.
    freeassociate2Afarstarwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 19
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,304member
    I think the UK/EU (and really every other government agency) needs to decide if they want to prioritize the consumer and the internet writ large or other business interests.

    Between pop-ups, surveys, requests for email, tracking permission, the occupation of screen space by ads that blur the line between content and promotion, etc etc, the internet has become progressively un-usable.

    But there seems to be some confusion from governments about what is truly important.

    Honestly we need to embrace the idea of subscribing to websites we use and not to expect them all to be free.
    thtwilliamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 19
    quote: “If the Financial Times itself is a member, it makes sense that it would be able to list those examples, but it doesn't say whether it's part of the News Media Association. The publication also doesn't list the correct job title for the Apple UK person written to, which a quick LinkedIn search shows was presumably Emma Haselhurst, Head of UK Government Affairs, Apple.
    As it pertains to protecting journalism, the report entirely neglects to credit AppleInsider for the original discovery.”

    So… they are trying to protect nefarios, bad, and ad-invasive journalism!
    thtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    Yup. Unusable websites and intrusive ads that also slow the piss out of pages. Not to mention all the free data sent back on expensive ISPs that neither the publishers or advertisers are paying for. Get that shit under control.

    The writing that’s worth it, I pay for. Ad supported is garbage clickbait. Soon to be AI generated garbage clickbait. 


    kdupuis77watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 1,034member
    Yup. Unusable websites and intrusive ads that also slow the piss out of pages. Not to mention all the free data sent back on expensive ISPs that neither the publishers or advertisers are paying for. Get that shit under control.

    The writing that’s worth it, I pay for. Ad supported is garbage clickbait. Soon to be AI generated garbage clickbait. 


    The number one reason I hate ads is for slowing down websites. So frustrating! The tracking is a second hate.
    AfarstarthtVictorMortimerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    nubusnubus Posts: 414member
    This site wouldn't exist without ads. We need a way where content creators and platforms get paid and to block free-riders.
    With games, apps, streaming (sound, video), phone use, and hardware, we're used to paying. The open web is a huge benefit as it allow open access to information and discussion.

    How can we make a www that is more fair?
    gatorguy
  • Reply 14 of 19
    There hasn't been "journalism" in the Mirror Group / News UK for decades, so this is a bit of a misnomer.

    Perhaps if you didn't have such an appalling UX, and didn't track with as many trackers as you do, this wouldn't have happened.

    This can only be a good thing.
    williamlondonVictorMortimerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    opinionopinion Posts: 104member
    Go back to print and add all the ads you want...
    williamlondonVictorMortimerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,966member
    Apple please apply this tech to unwanted Email/Messages and spam phone calls in short all unsolicited digital junk (one can only dream). :smile: 
    williamlondonVictorMortimerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 19
    nubusnubus Posts: 414member
    opinion said:
    Go back to print and add all the ads you want...
    Having independent media is too important in a democracy to be ignorant about. We have seen the result of letting Zuckerberg and more run the show. Do we really want Jan 6th on repeat?

    Without payment or ads you have nothing but junk news. It would be like expecting great education from teachers that don't get paid. Clearly you won't get the brightest.
    With payment some voters can't afford being informed. What to do... subsidize to ensure independent media? That is what we're doing in Northern Europe. Cat videos and influencers won't save democracy.
    DAalseth
  • Reply 18 of 19
    SuicidySuicidy Posts: 5member
    badmonk said:
    I think the UK/EU (and really every other government agency) needs to decide if they want to prioritize the consumer and the internet writ large or other business interests.

    Between pop-ups, surveys, requests for email, tracking permission, the occupation of screen space by ads that blur the line between content and promotion, etc etc, the internet has become progressively un-usable.

    But there seems to be some confusion from governments about what is truly important.

    Honestly we need to embrace the idea of subscribing to websites we use and not to expect them all to be free.
    Most ‘news’ sites are propagandist garbage.  Thats the real problem, and the underlying source for their dearth of revenue.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 19
    I despise ads.

    I will install adblockers on absolutely everything I touch.  I don't see them, and if I did see them I would make it a point to NEVER buy that company's products.

    But I would be less aggressive installing them on other people's computers if they weren't also malware, either active malware that will harm your computer or the spyware that ALL internet advertising is today.

    Want less aggressive adblocking?  Use static image ads that take up very little of the page and DO NOT TRACK.  No, advertisers, you do not need metrics.  For centuries the only metric you had was how many copies of a newspaper were printed, and that is all you need.

    Oh, and I've recently started installing the AdNauseum adblocker as a way to actively punish advertisers for their garbage.  They get to pay for the clicks, the news orgs get the revenue, and nobody sees the ads.
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