Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, mass layoffs, the Rogers outage, and a push for clean tech.
With the new year nearly upon us, it’s once again the time to take a look back at the top stories of the year. Welcome to Hashtag Trending, I’m your host, Samira Balsara, and in this two-episode special, we’ll be listing the top eight tech stories that emerged in 2022.
Elon Musk twitter takeover
Probably one of the biggest stories of the year (and currently ongoing), is Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover. At the end of October Musk formally took ownership of the platform after firing Parag Agrawal, who had succeeded co-founder Jack Dorsey as Twitter chief executive officer as well as other top executives. Since his takeover, it’s been impossible to keep Twitter out of the headlines. From intense mass layoffs at the company to a subscription that verifies accounts, the platform and company has changed. Musk’s overall goal for the platform was to create a space that promotes free speech, however in October, hate speech on Twitter increased significantly in just 12 hours of Musk taking over. In more recent news, Musk faced intense backlash for suspending some journalists who cover the social media firm. In addition, Musk has now taken to Twitter to ask users, via a poll, if he should step down as CEO. The poll had about 57.5 per cent of respondents voting yes. As we head into the new year, Twitter and Musk will most likely be in the limelight in one way or another.
Tech companies big and small have been making staff changes this year with mass layoffs plaguing the industry. Hiring freezes and layoffs have impacted just about every part of the tech industry. Top executives and new graduates have been affected at companies like Tesla, Netflix, Coinbase, and Robinhood. These companies have cited reasons ranging from rising inflation to a disastrous crypto market. Some of the biggest layoffs include Twitter where Musk laid off 3,750 employees—he did ask for some of them to return a few days later, Netflix, which laid off about 300 of its employees and Shopify which let go off about 10 per cent of staff. Just recently Cisco announced a massive layoff impacting 4,100 employees. An article from CNBC coined this time period the era of “loud layoffs,” following the great resignation.
This summer Rogers Communications experienced a wide-scale internet and wireless service outage across Canada on July 8. People across Canada began experiencing issues early that morning with 20,000 reports of problems with the network on Downdetector. TD Canada e-transfer and other banks reported issues, and major businesses such as Starbucks and Rexall could not accept Interac payments. 911 calls were impacted and the Toronto police reported a slowdown in operation as a result. In addition, Canadian singer The Weeknd had to reschedule his concert at the Rogers Centre due to the outage impacting venue operations. After nearly 19 hours of no service, the network was restored for most people the next day. However the major outage opened up conversation about the monopoly that Rogers is. As a result, in September, major telecommunication companies agreed to an emergency outage deal. If one of the providers, including Bell, Shaw, Freedom and more, face a major network outage, the other companies will provide the needed support to ensure 911 connections and business transactions aren’t affected.
Push for sustainability within tech
A call for action to tackle climate change within the tech industry was a common pattern amongst many companies this year. In early September 2022, Ericsson announced the launch of Radio 6646, a tri-sector, triple-band 5G radio network which aims to cut energy consumption by around 40 per cent compared to any single-sector, triple-band radios. Other tech companies that announced sustainability initiatives include SAP, Capgemini, IBM and Microsoft. IBM was named technology partner of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference at this year’s conference. In addition, IBM revealed the new members of its Sustainability Accelerator program, which uses technologies developed by the organization to bolster government and non-profit organizational efforts towards protecting people from climate change threats. In August 2022, Capgemini and SAP announced a collaboration to provide cloud services and products to enhance sustainability initiatives in the automotive industry.
And that was part one of our trending stories for 2022. Look out for our second part in the coming days. Thank you for listening to Hashtag Trending this year. 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. Have a happy new year!