Roundup – Twitter policy change causes divide and China production challenge threatens Apple’s growth streak
Twitter’s decision to end Covid misinformation policy is met with mixed reviews
Twitter will no longer enforce its policy against Covid-19 misinformation. The announcement has been met with a mixed response by the public and health experts. Several Twitter accounts were found to champion the platform’s new hands-off approach, yet health experts fear it could have serious consequences if it discourages vaccination and efforts to combat the virus. Dr Ashish Jha, the White House Covid-19 coordinator, said that misinformation could lead to “tens of thousands of people dying unnecessarily”. Social Media researcher Paul Russo added that the company’s decision is an abdication of its duty to its users.
“It is 100% the responsibility of the platform to protect its users from harmful content,” Russo said. “This is absolutely unacceptable.”
Plan to make big tech remove harmful content axed from the Online Safety Bill
Measures which would have forced big tech firms to take down legal but harmful material has been cut from the UK’s Online Safety Bill after concerns that it posed a risk to freedom of speech. The bill is scheduled to become law before next summer. The Government argues that the changes do not undermine the protections for children and that tech companies will still need to stop children from seeing content that could cause significant harm. Yet the decision has been met with critics including Labour and the Samaritans who called it a hugely backward step.
Culture secretary Michelle Donelan told the BBC that “nothing is getting watered down or taken out when it comes to children.”
“This is a very complicated Bill and there’s lots of aspects to it,” she added.
Apple’s three-year growth streak strained by production issues in China
The unstable conditions in China could end Apple’s three year consecutive growth streak as its assembly point in the country slashed iPhone production. Analysts have been lowering Apple earnings estimates ever since it was revealed that manufacturer Foxconn was experiencing “significantly reduced capacity” of high end iPhone models in one of its factories. Some have forecast Apple’s net profits to fall 6.2% this quarter, with revenue estimated to grow a mere 1%. Wait times for some devices have almost doubled to 37 days from a month ago, however Foxconn has relocated some iPhone production to other plants in China in attempt to remediate the issue.
US chip design market share to plummet without government support, report warns
The US has already lost its lead in chip manufacturing which encouraged president Biden to pass the CHIPS and Science Act earlier this year, however the investment doesn’t cover chip design. Now, without government funding in this area, its share of revenue could drop to 36% by the end of this decade, according to a report by SIA and BCG. Government support in countries such as China and South Korea is helping them gain a foothold in the chip design, but for the US, the report suggested that a federal billion-dollar investment of between $20-$30 billion is required to maintain US leadership in the long-run. Funding could also help train a workforce as the US chip industry faces a shortage of 23,000 design workers by 2030, according to the report.
Subscribe to our Editor's weekly newsletter