Hashtag Trending March 15 – Google faces lawsuit; Ford to ship and sell incomplete cars; Misinformation on TikTok

Google is being sued by a Florida restaurant group, Ford will ship cars without certain chips, and contrary to popular belief, misinformation on social media affects Gen Z too.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, March 15, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Google is facing a lawsuit from a Florida restaurant group alleging that the company has been setting up unauthorized pages to take food orders rather than directing them to the restaurant’s actual website. According to an article by Ars Technica, Google uses “bait-and-switch” tactics to get customers to place orders through “new, unauthorized, and deceptively branded web pages.” On those pages, customers are directed with buttons to order through food delivery companies such as GrubHub or DoorDash. Google’s “Order Online” button appears to be the result of a Google acquisition known as “The Ordering App,” a site that was designed specifically for restaurants to help customers order more seamlessly from the Google Business Profile. However, restaurants say the order online button saps profits and diverts customers away from the restaurant’s website to third-party food apps. This results in the restaurant not making a full profit on the order since it has to pay fees to the apps.

Some Ford Explorers will soon ship without the chips that power rear air conditioning and heating controls. The automaker will instead ship the missing chips to dealers by next year, and they will then install them in customers’ vehicles after purchase. According to The Verge, heating and air conditioning will still be controllable from the front seats. Customers who choose to purchase a vehicle without the rear controls will receive a price reduction. A Ford spokesperson said Ford is doing this to bring new Explorers to customers faster, and that the change is only temporary.

It’s assumed that older generations are more likely to fall for misinformation online, however, the video app TikTok, popular among younger people, is responsible for generating lots of misinformation, proving that even Gen Z isn’t immune. TikToker Jules Terpak is using her platform to inform Gen Z of fake news, NBC reports. Growing up with the internet makes it easy for younger generations to feel immune to misinformation sometimes, Terpak suggests in a TikTok. However, experts agree that young people are equally susceptible to confirmation biases and that, with their digital expertise, they can also amplify incorrect information like older generations. Many Gen Z’ers get their news on TikTok meaning they’re circulating short videos that aren’t always fact-checked. Conflict in Ukraine is just one example of how misinformation has spread on the platform. Videos purporting to show the conflict or showing troops engaged in combat have inundated “For You” feeds. The For You page is made up of random videos, meaning you don’t need to be following an account to see its content. So, inaccurate videos posted by well-meaning users or by bad actors preying on users’ emotions have run rampant since the start of the war.

And now for something a little bit different. In the last few days, Chinese customs officers have stopped a large shipment of XFX Radeon graphics cards, which were mislabeled to avoid high import tax. Authorities have seized more than 5800 graphics cards worth $3 million. However, it’s not only AMD products that are being illegally imported. Chinese authorities have reported that a man was carrying as many as 160 processors, mainly Intel 11th and 12th Gen Core CPUs, hidden under his clothes. The “Walking CPU” or “CPU-Man” has attempted to evade custom by not declaring his hidden cargo. But, the giveaway was his abnormal walking posture which ultimately caught officers’ attention.

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

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. 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 tli@itwc.ca.

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