Apple's bizarre PR strategy: delete unflattering threads

Apple's bizarre PR strategy: delete unflattering threads

Summary: Apple has a new strategy for dealing with the flaws that have surface in the iPhone 4: deleting threads that mention them in its support forums.

SHARE:
TOPICS: CXO, Apple
38

Oh Apple, when will you ever learn?

I learned 10+ years ago that deleting comments was a bad idea. Obviously, spam, scams, hate, porn and malware should be deleted, but real comments (critical or otherwise), voicing real concerns, by real people shouldn't be deleted. In fact, there's a long internal discussion going on here at ZDNet about how to better manage the spam trickling into the TalkBacks. (For now, keep flagging them...)

But Apple deals with things in weird ways.

Antenna flaw? Blame the user. Blame the algorithm that calculates the bars.

Unflattering issues in Apple's support forums (discussions.apple.com)? - delete them. Maybe they will go away.

TUAW discovered that numerous threads referencing Consumer Reports' recent article 'not recommending' the iPhone 4 were being summarily deleted from Apple's support forums, and it isn't the first time. In my piece about the iPhone 4's proximity sensor bug I noted that Apple was also deleting posts about it as well.

I was going to end this post by saying that despite TUAW's story, there were still some posts about the bad Consumer Reports review of the iPhone 4 in the Apple forums -- there were some there this morning -- but alas, they also appear to have been deleted, so I can't.

Maybe if Apple spent as much time fixing the iPhone 4 flaws as it did deleting critical comments we'd actually see a software update for the iLemon in a timely manner.

(At least fix the silly proximity sensor bug so that I can actually make a phone call without hanging up every time!)

Topics: CXO, Apple

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

38 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Apple's bizarre PR strategy: delete unflattering threads

    Criticism of Apple, Apple Products, and Steve Jobs must be sent to memory hole, no exceptions. The iPhone has no flaws, we've always been at war with Eastasia.
    willyd357
    • Meanwhile Ballmer and Schmidt laugh all the way to the bank

      They didn't have to do much, and yet that's enough to cause Apple to first panic and then implode.
      LBiege
    • RE: Apple's bizarre PR strategy: delete unflattering threads

      @willyd357 "Ignorance is Strength."
      Feldwebel Wolfenstool
    • RE: Apple's bizarre PR strategy: delete unflattering threads

      Apple isn't different or even unique that way; it's just big enough that people will talk about it, even about things that arean't true a lot of times.
      It's abhorant and I hate a place that covertly drops publis posts, <a href="http://www.customwritinghelp.co.uk/types/termpaperwriting.php">term paper writing</a> but it's unfortunately their right but IMO they have to SAY they are doing so. Otherwise I put the site on my never-visit list.
      adamjones342
  • Apple has been doing this for years

    Thanks Jason for bringing this up. The blogosphere has always been very strangely silent about this. Had any other company behaved this way, the blogosphere and all the talkback posters would be going NUTS!!! Apple always seems to get a free pass. That seems to be changing though. That makes me happy. It [b]should[/b] make Apple zealots happy too since deleting threads doesn't help them in the least. An Apple under fire is an Apple that will do better.
    NonZealot
    • RE: Apple's bizarre PR strategy: delete unflattering threads

      @NonZealot
      No, a LOT of sites do that, and do so with impunity at that. Apple isn't different or even unique that way; it's just big enough that people will talk about it, even about things that arean't true a lot of times.
      It's abhorant and I hate a place that covertly drops publis posts, but it's unfortunately their right but IMO they have to SAY they are doing so. Otherwise I put the site on my never-visit list. Many of those sites don't live long but Apple is going to be around for a good long while yet.
      twaynesdomain-22354355019875063839220739305988
      • RE: Apple's bizarre PR strategy: delete unflattering threads

        @twaynesdomain

        There is NO excuse, and saying the other sites do it is not even worthy of mention. This is a company that must stand on its own and its proucts TODAY must be of the same quality and standard. It is not enough to live only on reputation.

        I do NOT care one bit if others delete negative comments with regards to Apple. They should not do it, and the mere mention of others doing it serves to muddy the waters.

        Focus, this is about Apple and not others.
        Webbywarehouse
  • RE: Apple's bizarre PR strategy: delete unflattering threads

    This may be double plus bad, but I still love Big Steven. ;)
    bmgoodman
  • maybe you should have a talk with the ZDNet moderators.

    I've had several non-spam, non-flame comments of mine deleted from here recently. I've seen legitimate comments by other users deleted here lately too. What's up with that?
    toadlife
    • They may have been off topic.

      @toadlife: Or responses to off-topic (or otherwise guideline violating) posts.
      ye
      • I've seen it happen too

        There are issues with this site. It almost seems that every once in a while, they restore a backup from a few hours earlier but only for certain blogs. Very weird.
        NonZealot
      • No, they wern't

        @ye

        yesterday I had a post deleted from one of Paul Murphy's blogs. The post I responded to was never deleted and it was reply that directly addressed the content of the post.
        toadlife
    • Yes, but.......

      @toadlife <br><br>you do get to read all those ads in the Talkback for a LONG time. They do not seem to get deleted. <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink">
      Economister
    • RE: Apple's bizarre PR strategy: delete unflattering threads

      @toadlife : Dunno, but in all fairness, I've seen a lot that would be deleted under Apple's policy go untouched here. I have a feeling it might have been your language, rage, attitude or unfairness of your comments which were nothing but opinions and devoid of any supporting information? Think about it and see if there isn't a reason you can spot yourself; I'll bet you can. IMO, loud fanatics and rude rants need not apply; they add nothing of value to the discussions.
      It may not be too late to correct the situation.
      Now, all that said, I DO admit to at least one of my posts being scrubbed. I went in and found my post was reflected "as spam" and thus not posted. It wasn't spam in any way and would take real stupidity to see it as spam. Lo & behold, the spam comment disappeared, my post started showing, but my comment about being unfairly accused of spamming never got posted. I think I got caught up in their rollout of their new spam identifier but they seem to have been watching it and fixed it right away.

      Since then I've watched closely for spam or unfair posts, and I believe possibly unfair and even some senseless posts are indeed being posted.

      I just wish a few of the authors would provide citations and references; a couple of them never seem to do that.
      twaynesdomain-22354355019875063839220739305988
      • RE: Apple's bizarre PR strategy: delete unflattering threads

        @twaynesdomain

        <i>"I have a feeling it might have been your language, rage, attitude or unfairness of your comments which were nothing but opinions and devoid of any supporting information? Think about it and see if there isn't a reason you can spot yourself; I'll bet you can. IMO, loud fanatics and rude rants need not apply; they add nothing of value to the discussions. "</i>

        Your feeling would be wrong. I don't engage in virtual screaming, use bad language and rarely even go ad-hominem in discussions. As for "opinions deviod of any supporting information", this isn't Wikipedia. if that's your benchmark, then 99.9% of ZDNet talkbacks should be deleted.
        toadlife
      • I, to

        @twaynesdomain have had several of my posts flagged or lost altogether, and considering my attempts at being fair and reasonable, I'm convinced that new filters at ZDNet are responsible. Seems to have started with the new format, but appears to have improved somewhat recently. Any light from ZDnet?
        Papa_Bill
  • Summarily Delete!?

    Wow. Like, I have *never* seen that happen before! :/

    That's just wrong. (ah hem)
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
  • RDF

    Reality distortion field in action. Period.
    pupkin_z
  • Unfortunately....

    this appears to be an established pattern of conduct. As long as Apple makes boatloads of money, they have no reason to change. Bitching while continuing to buy their products just makes the bitcher look silly. I vote with my $$ and so far I have an unblemished record.
    Economister
    • RE: Apple's bizarre PR strategy: delete unflattering threads

      @Economister
      Have to agree (now).
      Just went from a 3GS to a Nexus One.
      Should have gone sooner..... sweet phone!
      rhonin