With files from Samira Balsara
Italy hits Amazon with a hefty fine, Instagram is planning to revisit an old feature, and the metaverse’s roll-out will come with concerns about privacy.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending, it’s Friday, December 10, and I’m your host, Jori Negin-Shecter
Amazon has been fined $1.13 billion dollars by antitrust regulators in Italy. The company has been accused of using its power in the online shopping industry to steer Italian sellers into using its logistics service Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA). In response, Amazon has stated that they plan to appeal this decision. This is one of the largest fines imposed by a nation in the EU as part of a long battle over online antitrust problems. In this latest ruling, according to The Verge, Italy’s antitrust watchdog is especially concerned with the benefits Amazon gives to sellers on its platform that also pay to use its FBA logistics service. Sellers signed up to FBA can mark goods with the Prime fulfillment label and participate in Amazon events such as Prime Day.
Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri said the social media platform plans to bring back the chronological feed feature. Currently, Instagram displays posts with an algorithmically sorted feed which sorts posts based on user preference. This feature has been disliked by many as users seem to prefer to have their posts and their friends’ posts surface in the order posted. The current feed, introduced in 2016, uses AI to create what Instagram considers a more personalized feed, based on users’ activity.
Finally, as Meta prepares to roll out its metaverse, the discussion about privacy and barriers between the real world and the internet remains prevalent. According to a Business Insider article, problems created by social media could be amplified even further in a futuristic landscape such as the metaverse. Without clear policies in this new space, it will be difficult to tell the difference between content that’s authentic and what’s paid placement directed at users. To solve some of these concerns, the article suggests the metaverse will need to restrict how much companies can monitor users, limit what exactly big tech giants can track and restrict how much third parties can advertise their content.