Tag Archives: Apple

Apple, YouTube, and Facebook Removed Alex Jones’ Content



Last week, Spotify deleted several episodes of The Alex Jones Podcast. The reason was because that content violated Spotify’s hate content policy. Stitcher removed Alex Jones’ podcasts on August 2, 2018. Apple, Facebook, and YouTube have followed with their own bans.

Buzzfeed News reported that Apple removed the entire library for five of Infowars’ six podcasts from its iTunes and Podcasts Apps. Among them were War Room and Alex Jones Show.

Buzzfeed reported a statement from Apple that said:

“Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users. Podcast that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”

CNBC reported that YouTube, which is owned by Google, has removed the Alex Jones Channel.

CNBC reported that Google said in a statement regarding the removal of the page: “All users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube. When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.”

Facebook provided information about why they removed four videos on four Alex Jones Facebook pages in a newsroom post titled: “Enforcing Our Community Standards”.

It starts with: “We believe in giving people a voice, but we also want everyone using Facebook to feel safe. It’s why we have Community Standards and remove anything that violates them, including hate speech that attacks or dehumanizes others. Earlier today, we removed four Pages belonging to Alex Jones for repeatedly posting content over the past several days that breaks those Community Standards.”

Toward the end of the post, Facebook said: “As a result of reports we received, last week, we removed videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies. These pages were the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page, and the InfoWars Nightly News page. In addition, one of the admins of these Pages – Alex Jones – was placed in a 30-day block for his role in posting violating content to these Pages.”

Facebook also removed more content from the same pages that had been reported to them. Facebook took it down for glorifying violence, which violates Facebook’s graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describes people who are transgender, Muslims, and immigrants, which violates their hate speech policies.

On August 2, 2018, Stitcher posted a tweet that said: “Thanks for your note. We have reviewed Alex Jones’ podcasts and found he has, on multiple occasions, harassed or allowed harassment of private individuals and organizations, (1/2)”

Stitcher followed that with a second tweet: “and that harassment has led listeners of the show to engage in similar harassment and other damaging activity. Therefore, we have decided to remove his podcasts from the Stitcher platform.”


Apple is Hiring a Digital Supply Chain Technical Producer



Apple logoApple is hiring a Digital Supply Chain, Technical Producer. The job listing was posted on January 19, 2018. The position includes 40 hours a week. The hourly pay was not described in the job listing.

Here’s the summary of the job:

Apple Podcasts boasts the largest and most popular podcast directory in the world and serves a global audience of millions. Our Siri Audio News briefs keeps listeners informed around the world. The Apple Podcast and Siri Audio News team seeks a Content Producer to be responsible for the health of the podcast and audio news catalogs and act as our front-line point of provider support.

Our new team member will handle the partner-hosted content supply chains, process DMCA removals, support Apple-internal podcast providers, oversee our support forums and manage our technical documents. This role demands the Content Producer support a larger number of providers, ranging from first-time amateurs to large public broadcasters and Fortune 100 companies.

Some Key Qualifications include:

  • Excellent written communication skills, focused specifically on technical communication with vendors
  • Strong time-management skills and a demonstrated ability to work independently as well as in a team environment
  • Strong understanding of the technology behind blogging, podcasting, RSS, XML, and media streaming protocols
  • Good understanding of the podcast, radio and online video media landscapes
  • Complete understanding of Apple Podcasts on macOS, tvOS and iOS
  • Fluency in English with Spanish or Asian language skills an advantage
  • BA/BS degree in business, communication, technology or related field.

For full details, please visit the Digital Supply Chain Technical Producer job listing on the Apple website.


Apple has Acquired Pop Up Archive



Apple logoNicholas Quah reported in his Hot Pod Newsletter on Nieman Lab earlier this month that Apple has acquired Pop Up Archive. It was the parent company of Audiosear.ch. Both of them shut down on November 29, 2017.

Pop Up Archive focused on building tools to transcribe, organize, and search audio files. Audiosear.ch was among Pop Up Archive’s suite of tools. Audiosear.ch was its podcast search engine. Nicholas Quah shared the following insight:

That said, I’m pretty sure you can put two and two together with what’s on paper: Apple, long the dominant hands-off steward of the podcast universe, has acquired a technology dedicated to increasing the knowability and sortability of the hundreds of thousands of shows distributed through its Apple Podcast platform. This, as you can imagine, has widespread implications for the ecosystem.

Exactly how Apple will use its newly acquired tools is unclear, or if they are already using them in some “behind-the-scenes” way. I searched for a press release from Apple about this acquisition, but was unable to locate one.


Apple Podcast Announcement Wrap-up – PCN Show 043



PCN iTunes artworkApple’s announcement this week at the end of the Worldwide Developer Conference is some of the biggest podcasting news to happen in years. That’s why I’ve decided to dedicate an entire episode to it.

Links:

 


New Features for Listeners, Stats for Podcasters Coming to Apple Podcasts



Apple logoApple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is wrapping up this weekend in California. While Apple made plenty of announcements during WWDC, the tech giant may have truly left the best for last (at least, if you’re a podcaster).

Today, Apple announced major changes to its podcast spec. The first such spec changes the company has made in years. Apple also announced that it will finally be providing at least some listener data to podcast producers.

Acknowledging recent trends in the podcasting space, Apple will now provide support for seasons, preview episodes, and bonus episodes within its podcast RSS feed spec. That means it’ll be easier for podcasters to organize episodes by season, so listeners can download and listen back to episodes in the correct order. The preview and bonus episode options will make it easier for podcasters and listeners alike to identify episodes that might not be part of a podcast’s regular production cycle.

There’s been a lot of industry pressure as of late on Apple to provide listener data to podcasters. Acquiescing to these demands, Apple will begin providing some actual listener data to podcast producers:

Apple said today that it will be using (anonymized) data from the app to show podcasters how many people are listening and where in the app people are stopping or skipping. This has the potential to dramatically change our perception of how many people really listen to a show, and how many people skip ads, as well as how long a podcast can run before people just give up.

While this might look like the holy grail to some in terms of listener metrics, it appears that this data will be limited to listener activity from the iOS Podcasts app only. Not the cross-platform iTunes desktop application. And of course, it won’t pull in data from any services outside of the Apple ecosphere.

It’s not yet clear when Apple will allow podcasters to access listener data. The full implementation of the new Apple Podcasts RSS spec will likely coincide with the release of iOS 11 later this year. If you’d like to see what the new RSS tags will look like, Apple has released a document that covers the changes it’ll be making to the spec.


iTunes Podcasts Becomes Apple Podcasts



Apple Podcasts logoEver since Apple launched the iOS Podcasts app, effectively giving podcasts a dedicated location on Apple mobile devices, speculation has occurred that one day, Apple will break podcasts free from the desktop iTunes application in a similar manner. While that hasn’t happened yet, having a dedicated desktop podcast-consumption app made by Apple may be getting closer.

Today, Apple rebranded the iTunes podcast directory to Apple Podcasts:

Although today’s announcement is merely a branding change, it may indicate a renewed focus by Apple on podcasting…

In February, Eddy Cue teased that the company is working on new features for podcasts at the Code Media conference. Combined with this rebranding, it is possible that Apple is readying a big announcement for later this year, potentially at WWDC.

Renaming the iTunes podcast directory to Apple Podcasts falls in line with other Apple branding efforts, such as Apple Music and Apple TV. It’s possible that the Cupertino-based tech giant is finding the “i” designation that rose to fame with products like the iMac, iPod, and iTunes is in need of a refresh. Regardless, it’s good to see some real attention being paid to Apple’s podcast directory.

Along with this new name, Apple also released new guidelines for publishers who’d like to link to their listings on the Apple Podcasts directory. These guidelines include a new set of badges that make use of the Apple Podcasts name in place of iTunes (see image above).


Apple is Seeking a Podcast Producer



Apple logoApple posted a job ad on January 5, 2016, for a Podcast Producer. The person who gets this job will need to be located in either in Culver City, California, or Cupertino, California. The position appears to have something to do with integrating new podcasts.

The Job Summary reads as follows: “The Apple Podcasts team seeks Producer to help manage the integration of new podcasts, the merchandising of podcasts on Podcasts app and iTunes, and management of provider relationships. The varied work demands excellent editorial taste and account management skill. In the near term, a significant portion of the job will be devoted to planning and executing editorial campaigns, building relationships with providers and seeking out great new content.”

The key qualifications include some things you might not be expecting. They want someone who has “excellent and precise written and spoken English”. They also want the applicant to have fluency in Spanish, Portuguese, or French, and a knowledge of Latin American media landscape.

My best guess, and I may be wrong, is that this job is going to focus on podcasts created by podcasters in South America. The official language of Brazil is Portuguese. The rest of South America speaks Spanish. I can’t think of any good reason why Apple wants a Podcast Producer who has knowledge of the Latin American media landscape other than they want to focus on South America.


Upcoming Gimlet Media Podcast Sponsored by Apple



Gimlet LogoNo single company is still talked about more when it comes to podcasting than Apple. Since its addition of podcasting to the iTunes Store in 2005, most of the podcasting news made by Apple has revolved around podcasting apps and distribution. But that changes this month as Apple will actually be an active sponsor of an upcoming podcast produced by New York-based Gimlet Media.

Gimlet made a name for itself during the so-called “podcast renaissance” of 2014 with the launch of its critically acclaimed Startup podcast that documented the company’s founding. Gimlet followed up the success of Startup with other popular shows like Reply All and Undone. Gimlet Media is now set to debut its latest creation, a fully scripted serialized fiction series called Homecoming. This new show will be voiced by established Hollywood actors Catherine Keener (40 Year-Old Virgin, Into The Wild), Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and David Schwimmer (Friends, Orange Is The New Black).

Gimlet Media has a proven track record of attracting large audiences to its productions. That past performance may be what enticed Apple to step in as the sole sponsor for Homecoming. Specifically, Apple will be promoting its e-book and periodicals platform iBooks thru this new podcast. The move could be a sign of Apple’s confidence in Gimlet’s latest project, as the tech giant hasn’t sponsored many (if any) podcasts before.

Apple’s move from passive podcast distributor to active podcast sponsor seems like a logical one. While many podcast consumers are likely already using an Apple device, they may still be unaware of what iBooks has to offer. It’ll be easy enough for those listeners to tap over to the iBooks app after an episode of Homecoming and pick up a new book or magazine subscription. The potential popularity of a Gimlet-produced podcast will also get Apple’s sponsored message in front of plenty of non-Apple users as well, since podcasts are consumed across many different platforms.


iOS 10 Allows Users to Delete Podcasts App



Podcasts DeleteApple has probably empowered the medium of podcasting more than any other company. The Cupertino-based technology giant gave podcasting its first big boost when it added podcasts to the iTunes desktop application in 2005. Thanks to the popularity of Apple’s breakthrough portable media player, the iPod, iTunes had become a ubiquitous destination for consumers looking to easily acquire new audio. And when those users suddenly found a podcasting directory chock full of free content next to their favorite music store, they began consuming podcasts in droves.

Apple gave another healthy push to podcasting when it released the first iteration of its standalone Podcasts app in 2012. The app was ultimately developed to work alongside what would become Apple’s streaming music service (Apple Music). But there was some definite confusion when the app first showed up. Previously, users had been able to access podcasts thru their iOS devices’ iPod and Music apps. Apple would go on to include the new Podcasts app in its “core” collection of apps that couldn’t be deleted by users. This meant that iOS users had to deal with the app, if for no other reason than to stick it into an “unused apps” folder. And while it’s certain that many users did just that, many others opened the app and began listening to podcasts for the first time.

Apple’s Podcasts app is still a standard part of iOS. It shows up any time the operating system is freshly installed. But a big change came to the app with last month’s release of iOS 10. The app is no longer indestructible, and can now be removed by simply pressing and holding the app icon, and then tapping the X that pops up in the top left portion of the icon.

The change was likely made due to consumer demand, as many iOS users have wanted to be able to remove Apple’s core apps for years. It’s doubtful the app’s removable status will have any impact on podcast consumption overall. But it is kinda sad in a way that the app can be deleted now.