Apple News buckles under pressure, reactivates conservative news channel LifeSite

About a week ago, Apple News abruptly disabled the LifeSite channel and deleted all its content from the platform. On Tuesday, however, the Apple News team wrote to LifeSite saying that its channel has been “re-evaluated” and that all content is accessible on the Apple News app again.

For those readers not familiar with the issue, LifeSite is a conservative news channel that claims to base its views on Christianity. Many of its articles have in the past been anti-gay and anti-abortion.

Apple made the decision to remove LifeSite’s channel only a couple of days after it originally gave the green light for the channel to start publishing on Apple News. The reason that it gave for subsequently removing the content was that it “didn’t comply with our Apple News guidelines”.

The email went on to say that LifeSite’s content included material that “shows intolerance towards a specific group”.

According to LifeSite, the email from Apple did not pinpoint which specific group its content showed intolerance against, and no specific articles were mentioned that contained such intolerant views.

The pro-Trump site’s supporters did not take the ban lying down. In a matter of days, 57,000 individuals had signed a petition demanding that Apple reactivate the LifeSite channel. Close to a thousand of these signatories also sent physical postcards with the same demand to the company’s Cupertino headquarters.

Apple News is, of course, available on all iOS and macOS devices. It gathers news content from a large number of publishers, and device owners can then “follow” the news sites they like most and get tailor-made updates.

According to LifeSite, it originally applied to publish its content on Apple News in November last year. Apple was clearly not too eager to accept the channel because it took many months and a long list of follow-up requests for it to be accepted – only to be removed a few days later.

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