Hashtag Trending – Amazon workers strike; Google goes farming; Twitter suspends accounts

Amazon workers are striking in Germany, Google comes out with new robots to help farmers, and Twitter is suspending accounts for posing as Black Trump supporters.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday October 15, and I’m your host Baneet Braich.



It’s the last day for Prime Day and Amazon workers are striking over the conditions and pay in Germany. Verdi, the trade union organizing the strike, estimates that around 15 per cent of Amazon’s German logistics workers will walk out at seven sites on Prime Day. Germany has 15 fulfillment centers and since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, employees have been performing at their best, often without adequate protection,” one union representative said in a statement. Starting wage for Amazon workers in Germany is €11.30 or $17.45 CAD depending on the location. Amazon employs around 16,000 people in its logistics network in Germany, and says a “the vast majority” of them were working on Tuesday.



Google’s parent company, Alphabet has come up with new robots to help farmers. These prototype robot buggies can inspect individual plants to help farmers improve crop yields. Ultimately it’s about collecting large data on how crops grow. The main goal is to address the world’s increasing need for food and sustainability to grow it. In a blog post, project lead Elliott Grant writes “what if every single plant could be monitored and given exactly the nutrition it needed? What if we could untangle the genetic and environmental drivers of crop yield?” The buggy can also record information such as plant height, leaf area and fruit size. The data will be fed into a machine learning system to pick out patterns for farmers.



Twitter has suspended accounts for posing as Black Trump supporters. The tech giant is further investigating and may suspend other accounts using identical language. The Washington Post first reported on the activity where it cited more than a dozen accounts using identical, language like: “YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!! While polls show that about 10 per cent of American Black voters support Trump, experts have described these accounts aas suspicious. A Twitter spokesperson told the Guardian that the platform prohibits information used to artificially amplify or suppress information that manipulates or disrupts people’s Twitter experience.

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. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening.

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