Hashtag Trending Dec 16 – Harmful content on TikTok; social media influencers charged; Department of energy looks to fund fusion techs

TikTok pushes harmful content every 39 seconds, eight social media influencers have been charged in securities fraud scheme and the Department of Energy looks to fund fusion technologies

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday December 16 and I am your host, Samira Balsara.

According to a new report published Wednesday by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), TikTok recommends self harm and eating disorders content to some users within minutes of joining the platform. Researchers posed as 13 year olds interested in body image and mental health. Within 2.6 minutes, TikTok’s algorithm recommended suicidal content and eating disorder content within eight mins. Researchers found a total of 56 TikTok hashtags hosting eating disorder videos with 13.2 billion views, over the course of the study. This study comes as more than 1,200 families are pursuing lawsuits against social media companies including TikTok. A TikTok spokesperson challenged the methodology of the study saying; “We regularly consult with health experts, remove violations of our policies, and provide access to supportive resources for anyone in need.”

Source: CBS News

U.S prosecutors said they have charged eight individuals in a securities fraud scheme, alleging they reaped about $114 million by using Twitter and Discord to manipulate stocks. The eight men posed as successful traders on the social media platforms and then conducted a “pump and dump” scheme by hyping particular stocks to their followers with the intention to dump them once prices had risen, Reuters reported. “Securities fraud victimizes innocent investors and undermines the integrity of our public markets,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Source: Reuters

After the nuclear fusion breakthrough, the U.S. Department of Energy is now in the process of determining which competing fusion technologies should be funded to try and produce carbon-free fusion power for the U.S. grid by the 2040s, EnergyWire reported. The grant seeks to help private fusion developers create blueprints for a utility-scale pilot plant that could deliver at least 50 megawatts of power to the grid. The funding is supported by a $50 million authorization from Congress in the 2020 Energy Act. The goal is “hopefully to enable a fusion pilot to operate in the early 2030s,” said a senior DOE official.

Source: EnergyWire

The Tokyo metropolitan government said it will introduce a system mandating newly built homes to be fitted with solar panels from fiscal year 2025 in a bid to reduce carbon emissions from the household sector, Kyodo News reported. Major construction companies will be required to install solar panels on buildings with a total floor area of less than 2,000 square meters. The metropolitan government estimates that the 980,000 yen ($7,200) initial cost for installation of the 4-kilowatt panels can be covered within 10 years from electricity sales revenue and can be further reduced down to six years with subsidies. Tokyo has set a goal to halve carbon emissions by 2030 from the level of those in 2000. A supplementary budget of 116.2 billion yen was also approved for the scheme, including subsidies for installing the panels.

Source: Kyodo News

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 Samira Balsara.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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