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May 23, 2017, 12:15 p.m.
Mobile & Apps

Now you can take a 24-hour Trump news “snooze” on the Quartz app

(Want the break to be longer? Sorry.)

If you’ve started feeling panicky every day between 5 and 6 p.m. because the volume of Trump news and notifications are just too much, there is a solution for you in the Quartz iPhone app: The app was updated Tuesday to let users turn on a “24-hour political timeout” that will not show them any news or notifications about DJT for one full relaxing day.

The offering comes at a time when the phones of news junkies — or even just people who have both The Washington Post and The New York Times’ apps installed on their phones — blow up regularly. (See: Nieman Lab staff, 5:45 p.m. during a recent solemn event.) Last week, the Times even experimented with a never-before-seen-in-the-wild “double push alert.”

The Trump Snooze, which is enabled in the Quartz app’s notification settings, really does turn off after a day. “We weren’t gonna add a permanent filter or anything like that. It’s obviously really important to follow the news,” said Zach Seward, Quartz SVP of product and executive editor (and a former Nieman Lab staffer).

Seward said that Quartz had heard from many readers — and, of course, its own team had experienced — that Trump news can feel “relentless and a little draining.” Quartz sends out about six notifications through its app on the average day. Non-Trump-related political news can’t be snoozed — and, in addition, Quartz editors retain the discretion to send through really important Trump-related news if warranted even if the snooze is on. When I asked for examples of what might come through — I was curious, in particular, about the Comey “nut job” revelations of last week — Seward said it would really be handled case by case and that, when testing the snooze feature earlier this year, the team chose, for example, to send through Trump’s statement about the bombing of Syria.

“There are certainly news stories that feel like they rise to a clear bar of importance, regardless of being about Trump,” he said.

If after a day you are feeling that this is a great new world, you can enable the snooze for another 24 hours, as many times as you like — though, Seward said, “I assume that would get almost as annoying as the relentless news cycle.”

Laura Hazard Owen is the editor of Nieman Lab. You can reach her via email (laura_owen@harvard.edu) or Twitter DM (@laurahazardowen).
POSTED     May 23, 2017, 12:15 p.m.
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