Hashtag Trending Dec 22 – Tesla hiring freeze; Mastodon user growth; Internet shutdown in Iran impacts the economy

Tesla is implementing a hiring freeze, Mastodon is gaining more popularity, and Iran’s internet shutdown is impacting its economy. 

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday, December 22, and I am your host, Ashee Pamma.

Tesla is laying off more employees in the next quarter, according to reports from Electrek. The company is also looking to freeze hiring. This summer, Elon Musk noted that Tesla would reduce its salaried workforce by roughly 10 per cent over a three month period. At this stage it’s unclear how extensive the hiring freeze will be, especially with Tesla planning to expand in some manufacturing locations. The moves come as Tesla’s stock has been falling all year despite the company’s financials hitting new records every quarter. In a Reuters report, it revealed that Tesla analysts have also cut their price targets on the stock, worried that weakness in demand from China will weigh on the EV maker’s deliveries in 2023.

Twitter’s rival Mastodon has now grown eight times its size in a matter of weeks, going from approximately 300,000 users in October to 2.5 million in November. This growth comes as Twitter users have announced their plans to switch services amid the chaos at the platform following Elon Musk’s takeover. According to CNN, as of this week, Mastodon’s app stood at number eight among free social networking apps on the Google Play Store and at number 11 in the social networking category on Apple’s app store. Just last week, Twitter began blocking links to Mastodon on its platform. Then it made that practice an explicit policy on Sunday, before backlash forced Musk to suspend the policy in less than 24 hours. 

Internet shutdown, content filtering and platform blocking in Iran is impacting the country’s economy. In response to mass government opposition and protests, the Iranian regime launched a huge shutdown in September that limited all digital communication in the country. These disruptions have impacted businesses of all sizes. Multiple Iranian trade associations reported that their member companies are dealing with major losses. According to a report from Wired, some businesses have found that the recent outage affected hundreds of thousands of small businesses. The cumulative impact of these crackdowns has impacted the rights of over 80 million people currently in Iran and disrupted aspects of society in the country.

On January 1, 2023, copyrighted works from 1927 will enter the U.S. public domain. They will be free for all to copy, share, and build upon. Some of these works include Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse and the final Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. When works go into the public domain, they can now legally be shared, without permission or fee. This means that  online repositories such as the Internet Archive, Google Books, and the New York Public Library, for example, can make works fully available online. In addition, community theaters can screen the films and youth orchestras can perform the music publicly, without paying licensing fees. The Centre for the Study of Public Domain has compiled a list of all works entering the domain online. 

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 Ashee Pamma.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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