Facebook is axing the personal accounts of academics, Microsoft deals with major backlash on a Windows 11 YouTube video, and Nvidia’s Arm acquisition is hitting a roadblock.
It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, August 5, and I’m your host, Tom Li.
A report from Bloomberg has revealed that Facebook is deleting the personal accounts of a group of NYU researchers. The researchers are currently in the midst of researching political ads on the social media giant, which Facebook claims is against their terms of service. Specifically, Facebook has raised issues with the researcher’s efforts to scrape data as well as their access to APIs, which Facebook has since also cut off from the research team. The research group is part of a project called NYU Ad Observatory, and has been at odds with Facebook since at least last October. During the lead-up to last year’s election, Facebook sent the group a cease and desist letter, to which the group responded with the demand that Facebook share nuanced research on political advertisements themselves. The group ultimately aims to collect data on what political ads users see on Facebook and how those ads are targeted towards the user. Facebook’s relationship with political advertisements is a particularly contentious one, with a heavy dose of criticism lobbied towards Facebook given their refusal to fact check political ads and their role in the spread of misinformation.
Microsoft has entered damage control mode on Windows 11 after recently closing the comment section and unlisting a recent YouTube live stream on the upcoming operating system. After, Microsoft stated that users will not be able to bypass Windows 11’s system requirements when it comes to the TPM chip requirement, the community lashed out in the video’s comment section. While the video’s comments have long since been removed, the video’s nearly 25:1 dislike to like ratio tells the story of unhappy customers loud and clear. Many are speculating that beyond Microsoft’s decision being based on “security measures” according to the company, Microsoft is ultimately hoping to sell more new devices, from which the company would greatly benefit given the included Windows licenses.
And finally, UK regulars are causing some problems for Nvidia in the midst of their acquisition of chip designer Arm from Softbank. The regulators have expressed concerns that the acquisition would be anti-competitive, and could also raise national security concerns, given that ARM is based out of Cambridge in the U.K. According to Bloomberg, if the ARM sale is ultimately shut down, Softbank will seek out an IPO of independent ARM. The sale will also need to get through several other regulators for it to be finalized, including the EU, USA, and China, meaning that more uncertainty about the acquisition appears on the horizon.
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