With files from Samira Balsara
Apple is allowing the ban of LGBTQ+ apps in 152 countries according to a new report, some tech companies are adopting a four day work week and actually seeing some real benefits, and a new U.S. Senate bill could make cancelling online subscriptions much easier.
It’s all the biz/tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Friday, June 18 and I’m your host Alex Coop.
A report from the digital rights group ‘Fight For The Future’ reveals that 152 countries have banned around 50 LGBTQ+ apps in total from the Apple App Store. Several countries have also blocked apps like Hinge, Grindr, and OkayCupid. weBlong, an app for teenagers to connect has been banned in most app stores, making it unavailable in 144 of the 152 countries. China and Saudia Arabia topped the list for the most LGBTQ+ banned apps but France and the U.K. are also on the list. The banning of LGBTQ+ apps can happen because they are deemed “illegal” according to legislation in those 152 countries. But the report, and the rest of social media quickly pointed out, Apple plays a big part in these decisions as well in an attempt to stay in those countries’ good graces for business reasons. [Vice]
This next story may be cause for celebration. Social media management tool company Buffer has adopted a four day work week. In an article in The Atlantic, the company said it proposed the idea in response to the pandemic to try and balance work life and mental health. And it seems to have worked out for the best, as the company is reporting higher productivity rates. Nicole Miller, who works in human resources at Buffer, also cited this concept in the story, noting “the principle of work expanding to the time you give it,” meaning when there are 40 hours of work available to fill per week, it’s easier to find ways to work for 40 hours during those 4 days. Buffer says it might never go back to a five-day week. [The Atlantic]
And lastly, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed a bill that would make cancelling online subscriptions once the free trial period has ended much easier. Titled the “Unsubscribe Act,” senators say it would require companies to be more transparent about various subscriptions. The bill would help tackle a process known as “negative option billing,” where a customer signs up for a free trial and the company automatically switches them to a full-price subscription. Unfortunately, customers are usually not notified about this change. The bill would allow sellers to let customers cancel a subscription simply, notify them of changes and make it illegal to automatically transfer a free trial customer to a contract longer than one month. [The Verge]
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. 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, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. Thanks for listening.