Hashtag Trending – Tesla loves Bitcoin; Unionization at Amazon; Twitter’s verified users love fake news
Tesla invests heavily into Bitcoin, Amazon workers begin a historic vote of unionization and verified Twitter users shared an all-time-high amount of fake news in 2020.
It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Tuesday, February 9, and I’m your host Baneet Braich.
Bitcoin is on another boom. Tesla has invested around 1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency and will accept payment for its cars and other products in the near future. CBC reports that Tesla recently converted US dollars to bitcoin as an investment strategy for the funds currently not needed for operations. Thanks to all this extra attention, the price of bitcoin has gone up about 9 per cent to more than $55,041.97 Canadian. So what’s the deal with bitcoin now? Many Bitcoiners have expressed fears that currencies like the US and Canadian dollar may face the risk of inflation and essentially be devalued. As a result, Bitcoin has become a safety blanket of sorts because it’s not tied to any government or the whims of the economy.
Amazon workers have begun a historic vote to unionize. Early this week, the National Labor Relations Board rejected Amazon’s attempt to delay a union vote. The tech giant also asked to have votes in person which critics say was a method to stall the votes as a clear health risk with COVID-19. One union president says that “Amazon’s blatant disregard for the health and safety of its own workforce was demonstrated yet again by its insistence for an in-person election in the middle of the pandemic.” However, Amazon spokesperson Heather Knox told TechCrunch that the company was disappointed in the decision because it goes against Amazon’s goal of getting as many as people possible to vote in the election. Now the mail-in voting process will continue and determine if the Alabama warehouse that employs nearly 6000 employees will unionize. This could further provoke more unionizing across the 110 plus centers Amazon has in the U.S.
And lastly, did you know that in 2020 verified Twitter users shared an all-time-high amount of fake news. The German Marshall Fund of the United States found that false content producers and manipulators received nearly one-third (47 million) of the 155 million verified-account shares in Q4 2020. The Gateway Pundit, an American far-right fake news website, received more shares from verified Twitter users at the end of the year than The Washington Post. Breibart, another far-right publication and the Washington Post actually received equal amounts of interactions. The GMF told PCMag that the actions made by Facebook and Twitter to stop the spread of fake news are proving to be effective, but there’s plenty of work to be done.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening!