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Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather are facing a class action lawsuit over crypto promotions, Mozilla will track how Facebook tracks its users, and a coalition of fact checkers are accusing YouTube of spreading fake news.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday, January 13, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.
TV star Kim Kardashian and boxing legend Floyd Mayweather are facing a class-action lawsuit for inflating the price of a cryptocurrency they were paid to promote. The lawsuit alleged that the pair overstated the value of a cryptocoin, EthereumMax, on social media, causing its investors to lose money. Kardashian promoted the coin on her Instagram social feed, while Mayweather endorsed the coin in his boxing match with YouTube creator Logan Paul. For reference, the coin has lost around 97 per cent of its value since June. The drop was so sharp that some have called it a “pump and dump” scheme, the same tactic used by Jordan Belfort in the movie The Wolf of Wall Street.
Facebook tracking its users on and off its platform is nothing new. But Mozilla, the company behind the privacy-centric Firefox browser, is now looking to track it back. Mozilla has announced the Facebook Pixel Hunt project in collaboration with The Markup, a nonprofit newsroom. Facebook’s partners embed tracking elements, called Facebook pixels, into the web pages you visit. These pixels collect information about the user’s browsing behaviours upon a specific action, like adding an item to cart. Through its Pixel Hunt, Mozilla is hoping to better understand what type of information these trackers really collect.
A coalition of fact checking organizations is accusing YouTube of spreading false information on its platform. The coalition of 80 groups says the video platform is hosting false information on matters like Covid and is doing little to curb them. In a letter to YouTube, the coalition asked the video platform to increase factualness by funding independent research teams, fact-checking non-English videos, and preventing its algorithm to recommend repeat offenders.
Now for something a little different. A Russian farm is experimenting ways to reduce anxiety in cows with VR headsets. According to BBC, the cows that were shown a calm atmosphere through a specially designed VR headset produced more and higher quality milk. Studies have long shown that cows are intelligent and emotional creatures, so it only makes sense that they’re more relaxed when exposed to their natural habitats. Simulating that environment using VR headset is new territory and researchers will examine its efficiency in a long term study.
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 briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, if you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.