Hashtag Trending – Collision From Home continues, U.S. work visas put to a halt, Facebook boycotts continue

Collision From Home continues, the U.S. says it will suspend foreign work visas until the end of the year, and Facebook boycotts continue.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday June 25, and I’m your host, Alex Coop.

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Day 2 of Collision from Home continued Wednesday, with a bevy of speakers and panels. Microsoft president Brad Smith returned to talk about the role of tech companies during COVID-19. He discussed the COVID-19 diagnosing chatbot developed by Microsoft as well as the role of big data in government decisions. A number of NBA players including the Toronto Raptors own Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, discussed the opportunities athletes have in getting involved in the tech space and investing. Other sessions also included discussions about the fate of retail, as well as a panel featuring Alyssa Carson, astronaut-in-training at NASABlueberry. The fun continues today.

U.S. work visas will be frozen until the end of the year. Donald Trump has suspended work visas which will limit hundreds of thousands of foreigners from jobs in the United States. This is sure to impact computer programmers, seasonal workers in the hospitality industry, and students on work-study summer programs. Business leaders are especially not happy with this because they can no longer recruit critically needed workers from abroad. Companies with global operations can’t transfer foreign executives and other employees to the United States for months or year-long stints. The chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of commerce said putting up a ‘not welcome’ sign for engineers, executives, IT experts will hold the country back. The frozen visa effort as well as extending restrictions on green cards means that nearly 525,000 foreign workers will be kept out of the US for the rest of the year.

Facebook boycott gains momentum from technology

Lastly, boycotts towards Facebook are gaining steam. More companies are joining together to pressure Facebook to better monitor hateful and racist discourse. Over a dozen companies including The North Face, Ben & Jerry’s, and REI have joined the Stop Hate for Profit campaign which was organized after the police killing of George Floyd. Some things the campaign vouches for include a threshold for harm where users facing harassment can speak directly with an employee, an internal mechanism for removing ads labelled as misinformation, and a system for flagging content in private groups. Companies are also being encouraged to pull their advertising dollars from Facebook for July.

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.

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