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Push Notifications: The Warning System That Neither Pushes Time Sensitive Information Nor Notifies You Of Anything Important

By Emily Cutler | Last Week Tonight | January 21, 2020 |

By Emily Cutler | Last Week Tonight | January 21, 2020 |


Last Week Tonight has been gone from us since late November, and absent from the site since I scream pleaded with people to fill out their 2020 census forms because Republicans love ruining things in the name of white supremacy so, so much. Last Week Tonight proper won’t return to us until next month, but John Oliver loves us and wants us to be happy. And in that vein, he gave us what was probably a scrapped segment because pointing out, “Hey, most push notifications from news sources are garbage, and are actually working to undermine the importance of having reputable reporters give us important information about a time-sensitive situation.” See? There. I just wrote that episode of Last Week Tonight. They probably would have told more jokes, explained why push notifications are the way they are, and offered something to do about it, but basically I laid out the whole issue. You’re welcome, and John, I’ll be waiting for your offer letter.

Now, yes, you might have noticed that this video was released on Sunday. Meaning I’m really a day behind in posting it. But stop and ask yourself a few questions:

— Is this information actionable? Other than watching the video, which I’m assuming you did, is there any action you need to take? Looking up that bird story? That seems fair.

— Is this information time-sensitive? Did you need to watch this video on Sunday and then read about it yesterday morning? Was the one-percent line any less of a verifiable joke because you read it a day later?

— Was I on vacation yesterday? Yes. Yes, I was. And I tried to spend time away from the internet by spending a lot of hours watching TV. It’s called being productive. Look into it.

Anyway, the real point of all of this is that Last Week Tonight is back on February 16th, and I think we can all agree that we haven’t had nearly enough of our one-hundred-fifteen-year-old giant bird lately. We need someone to finish eating our Neanderthal children.

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Header Image Source: HBO