Hashtag Trending – Anger over big tech’s success during the pandemic; Bitcoin exceeds $23K; Alibaba helped clients identify Uighur people

Anger flourishes over the massive profits made by large enterprises while workers are laid off, the Bitcoin hype train sends the cryptocurrency’s value to $23,000, and a new report suggests that Chinese tech giant Alibaba sold software to clients that helped identify the face of a Uighur person.

This week the Washington Post reported that 45 of the 50 biggest U.S. companies turned a profit since March. Despite their success, at least 27 of the 50 largest firms held layoffs this year, collectively cutting more than 100,000 workers, The Post found. It was a common trend this year, one that’s led to a lot of frustrated people, rightly pointing out how it’s irresponsible to have leaders touting corporate success while laying off workers and stomping out local small businesses. Thousands took to Reddit since the story went live to voice their frustrations. One user wrote that the pandemic gave corporations “the excuse to lay off employees and then tell the ones left to pick up the slack and you should be lucky to have a job.” Gross.


If you were hoping to see Bitcoin wither away and die this year, well, it’s not. Bitcoin has soared to new highs, reaching the $20,000 mark this week. That’s the first time that number was reached in 2020. This year the digital currency more than tripled in value. The chatter online has been interesting – Bitcoin is highly speculative because it has a floor value of zero. It doesn’t accrue interest and has no asset value beyond what the market allows. And while Bitcoin has made huge strides towards achieving mainstream popularity, it has yet to become a widespread form of payment. But bitcoin enthusiasts are adamant that the risk is worth the reward. [Twitter]


Alibaba offered clients facial recognition to identify Uighur people, report reveals from technology

And finally, The Guardian is reporting that Chinese tech company Alibaba Group offered facial recognition software to clients that can identify the face of a Uighur person. The publication cited a report by US-based surveillance industry research firm IPVM, which had found that Alibaba’s Chinese website showed clients – the websites that might buy Alibaba’s software – how they could use the tech feature to identify ethnic minorities. It included a step-by-step guide and was specifically targeted to search for Uighurs. In recent years China has intensified its efforts to control and oppress Uighur and other Turkic Muslims in the Xinjiang region. P

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 Alex Coop thanks for listening.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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