Apple News is being used by several major companies as an advertising platform, and it’s making headlines again after it was forced to remove its own advertising from Apple News following an uproar over the company’s decision to include an anti-gay segment in the company news feed.
Apple News, which was launched in 2014 and currently has around 150 million monthly active users, allows users to subscribe to the company by clicking on the “Subscribe to Apple News” link on the top right corner of the Apple News feed.
It’s meant to be an ad-free alternative to Facebook and Google News, but Apple has been using it as a way to monetise its own products.
Apple announced on Thursday that it would be removing all Apple News content from its News app on iOS and Macs, citing the platform’s “potentially inappropriate content.”
“We have removed Apple News from the Apple news app because of a content-based policy,” Apple said in a blog post.
“This policy prohibits ads from appearing in the News app, which means we no longer sell or advertise on Apple News.
Apple News has never been associated with hate speech, and we have always been committed to fostering a safe, welcoming and inclusive community for all.”
Apple has also been accused of violating the Indian Digital Millennium Copyright Act by using its own News app as a platform for promoting its own news content.
Apple has faced numerous complaints about the use of Apple News in India and in other countries, with several Indian citizens demanding that the company remove it from the platform.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently admitted that the app had become too valuable for Apple to keep, and a number of Indian lawmakers called for its removal.
“I believe it’s time for the company to stop allowing Apple News and Apple products to be used to promote hate speech,” Congresswoman Harsimrat Kaur Badal told The Indian Express.
Apple’s move to remove Apple News was met with criticism from India’s digital media watchdog, Digital Rights India.
In a blogpost on Friday, DRI chief executive Ravi Vaidya said that Apple’s decision was a “huge step forward” in India, adding that “India needs an open platform where the voices of the Indian citizens are heard.”
Apple’s decision came after an earlier outcry over Apple News’s inclusion of an anti-“gay” segment in its news feed last year.
Apple had said that the news feed was being designed to be “ad-free” and would not sell advertising space to advertisers.
In April, the India-based tech company pulled ads from Apple’s News app after a protest from activists demanding that Apple remove it.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.