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Apr 30, 2019

Apple cracks down on apps that fight iPhone addiction.

That’s not the Onion. That’s not Saturday Night Live. That’s an actual headline from the New York Times, the Gray Lady, the paper of record.

The Times could also, easily, have used a different headline:

Apple finally removes child-targeting spyware from the App Store.

I don’t know if it would have baited any fewer clicks, but I do know the Times just shouldn’t be in that business either way. It should, not to get all Aaron Sorkin for a moment, be the business of informing its readers, of speaking truth to stupid.

Now, I hate the term fake news. I hate it. It’s a political construct and not an informational one. What this is… is just lazy, sensationalism, and the best and only way to deal with it isn’t to label it or dismiss it, because that’s just as lazy and actually irresponsible, but to fact check it, to hold it up to scrutiny and see how well it holds up.