Hashtag Trending, June 29, 2021- Canadian Hate Speech Laws; Blackberry’s Meme-Stock Status; A.I. Playing Employment Matchmaker

The Canadian Government is looking at introducing hefty fines for online hate speech, Blackberry’s CEO takes a stand on the stock’s Wall Street Bets relationship, and A.I is becoming increasingly prevalent in the job search market. 

It’s all the biz/tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Tuesday, June 29 and I’m your host Alex Coop.

Canada to Make Online Hate Speech a Crime Punishable by $16,000 Fine from technology

The Canadian government is moving forward with new legislation that would make online hate speech a federal crime. First reported by the CBC, the law would introduce fines of up to $20,000 for first offences, and fines of up to $50,000 for a second offence. In a Youtube live stream, Canadian Attorney General David Lametti spoke at length on the matter, defending the government’s decision, which some fear could intrude on some freedoms of speech. Lametti explained that the law is designed to punish the most extreme forms of hatred that “express detestation or vilification of a person or group on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination”. The Canadian government plans to release a more detailed report on the proposed law in the weeks to come.

Blackberry CEO John Chen has stated the company has no plans to cater to its “Meme-Stock” investors from Reddit’s Wall Street Bets subreddit. Chen elaborated that the company would continue to focus “on the fundamentals” in a television interview with Bloomberg last Friday. Chen’s comments come on the heels of several investor outreach initiatives by other Reddit favourites such as AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, which recently launched a new portal rewarding shareholders with benefits such as free movies and concessions. While retail investors from online forums have taken to several so-called “Meme-Stocks”, financial analysts remain far more bearish on the Canadian company, which saw sales and revenue down during their first fiscal quarter. BlackBerry has come a long way since it was known for building smartphones, and is now largely focused on securing IoT devices and bolstering security in the automotive and healthcare industries

And finally, a report from MIT Technology Review about the rise of A.I. in the job search market has sparked a discussion online. The report details how A.I. tools are being used to gauge everything from a potential employee’s facial expressions and voice, to attempting to understand their personality via their social media accounts. Furthermore, it says that the A.I. hiring revolution has spread to most Fortune 500 companies, including industry powerhouses such as McDonald’s, Hilton, and IBM. The idea behind the increased presence of A.I. in these processes is to eliminate forces of bias and to pick out ideal candidates. In response, however, concerns have been raised about the secretive nature of these tools, which are federally mandated to be checked for racial biases. Namely, the MIT Technology review suggests an increased presence of third-party inquiries to fully verify the legitimacy of vendor claims.

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.

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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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