Hashtag Trending Sept. 1 – Subreddits go dark; phone calls optional; Windows 11 launch date

Today’s Hashtag Trending script was prepared by Jori Negin-Shecter.

Large swaths of Reddit will go dark protesting sitewide anti-vaxxers, Gen Z is moving away from phone calls, and Windows 11 has a release date.

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It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, September 1, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Dozens of Reddit’s communities, known as Subreddits, have gone private following a statement from Reddit’s CEO declining to ban anti-vaxx communities on the platform. The statement follows an open letter that was published across multiple subreddits calling for Reddit’s admins to do more to moderate COVID-19 misinformation rampant in certain subreddits. Following the statement from Reddit’s CEO, the Reddit community VaxxHappened, the group spearheading the anti-misinformation campaign, released their own scathing letter aimed at Reddit’s admin team condemning their decision not to step up. According to, several more subreddits plan to go dark later this week, as a growing contingent of voices demonstrates their displeasure with Reddit’s decision.

A new survey has found that only a fraction of 16-24 year olds “think phone calls are remotely important”, leading to mass migration towards putting phones on vibrate. In an article from The Guardian, the survey from Ofcom showed that much older Gen Z is moving away from phone calls at a staggering rate, with more than twice as many 16-24-year-olds preferring to text rather than pick up the phone. The survey also found that ringtone downloads, on the whole, have dramatically decreased as well, down over a quarter between 2016 and 2020. An earlier 2017 survey also from Ofcom found that only 15% of 16-24 year olds think that phone calls are an “important method of communication”. In addition to waning interest in phone calls, the survey found that a significant reason behind the shift away from ringtones stems from the emergence of wearable tech, as well as new rules around cell phone use in school, where they are expected to be kept on silent.

And finally, Microsoft has revealed a release date for Windows 11 following an announcement on Tuesday. The free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs will be made available to some customers on October 5th, with subsequent expansions of eligibility coming in phases as has been the case with previous Windows versions. On existing Windows 10 machines, Windows Update will let users know when the upgrade is available, though some users can manually check via Microsoft’s dedicated PC Health Check application. Microsoft also noted that not all of Windows 11’s announced features will be made available upon the operating system’s release next month. The most notable of these features missing for day one will be the ability to run android apps, which is expected to be “in preview” for Windows Insiders in the coming months, and unlikely to launch fully until 2022.

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. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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