Hashtag Trending – #tiktokdown; Unreported military contracts from big tech; Neuralink update

TikTok users take to Twitter to yell about its meltdown, New records show Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have thousands of previously unreported military and law enforcement contracts, and Elon Musk teases an update for its brain-computer interface company Neuralink.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday, July 10, and I’m your host, Alex Coop.

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Video views and like counts on TikTok briefly disappeared from the app Thursday, and TikTok users quickly took to Twitter to panic about it. Website outage tracker Down Detector showed nearly 20,000 reports from users experiencing issues with the app. Some users also reported their “For You” feeds going dark or appearing to reset. TikTok has since acknowledged the issues in a statement on Twitter, and as of this recording, things appear to be a bit more stable on the platform. According to Business Insider, since it was launched globally in 2017 TikTok has generated more than two billion downloads worldwide. TikTok has also been in the news recently due to security issues with the app, as well as its ongoing clipboard snooping.

New records show Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have thousands of previously unreported military and law enforcement contracts from technology

Reddit is blowing up over new research that shows Silicon Valley companies having thousands of previously-unreported subcontracts with the US military and federal law enforcement including ICE and the FBI. The subcontracts were obtained through open records requests by accountability nonprofit Tech Inquiry and subsequently reported on by Business Insider. Microsoft has more than 5,000 previously unreported subcontracts with the Department of Defense and federal law enforcement. Amazon and Google each have hundreds of similar subcontracts, records show.

And lastly, Elon Musk says Neuralink, which he founded in 2016 to develop computer-brain interfaces to help us measly humans keep pace with artificial intelligence, will provide an update on its progress this summer Aug. 28. Neuralink says it had already performed successful tests of its technology on mice and even apes, and that it would be pursuing testing on its first human subjects starting sometime this year.

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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