In a broad sense a platform dictating to news outlets how to conduct business probably isn’t the best thing, but man oh man would I ever not shed a tear if Apple News decided to put the hammer down on the way that some of its members use the important story notifications. That hammer, in case anyone at Apple happens to be reading this, has a note attached to it that says “stop using our breaking news feature to shill products. It’s spammy, it makes you look sad and low rent, and it irritates people.”
I don’t know how widespread the problem is, but on my following list I can single out Wired and the Huffington Post (especially the Huffington Post) as the main offenders. I can’t recall the last time either one of them sent out something that would qualify under even the loosest definition of the phrase as breaking news. Cripes, half the time what I get isn’t even worthwhile. It’s nothing but collected lists of products to help me smarten or tidy my home, sleep better or be less anxious. If it’s not that, it’s hey, this thing you neither care about nor need is on sale somewhere. The kind of junk that you know without clicking on it is nothing but a sales pitch disguised as lifestyle journalism designed to get you to buy things through their special affiliate links.
Yes, I technically opted in to get these notifications. But I opted in for breaking technology and political news, not to be on the wrong end of a frigging ad cannon that won’t stop telling me about the 10 trendiest varieties of Mr. Clean. I’m strongly considering opting out.