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Hashtag Trending October 1- YouTube bans anti-vaxxers; Facebook may face fine in Russia; Google’s search engine dominance

Files from Tom Li

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YouTube bans popular anti-vax influencers, Facebook could face a massive fine in Russia, and Google says it doesn’t reduce consumer choice. 

It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Friday, October 1, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

YouTube is banning prominent anti-vaccine activists and blocking all anti-vaccine content from technology

YouTube will no longer allow vaccine misinformation on its platform. The announcement made on Wednesday poses the platform to boot anti-vaccine influencers from its site, as well as delete false claims about vaccination overall. The crackdown has already kicked in; several popular anti-vax channels have already been removed under the new policy. Unsurprisingly, the channel’s owners are bitter about the removal and have equated YouTube’s policy as censorship. But there is still a loophole: the new rule only applies to vaccines that have already been approved, so claims about vaccines in testing are still allowed.

Russia fines Facebook, Twitter for not deleting banned content from technology

Facebook could face massive fines in Russia unless it removes content at the request of the Russian government. According to a report by Reuters, Russia is upping the pressure on tech companies to gain more control over its sector of the internet. One Russian state regulator claimed that Facebook failed to remove graphic and extremist content from its platform, and has opened 17 cases against the company this year. If the platform continues its non-compliance, then Moscow plans on issuing a fine of up to 10 per cent of Facebook’s annual turnover.

‘Google’ is most searched word on Bing, Google says from technology

To deflect the European Union’s accusation that Google is abusing market power and reducing choice, Google’s lawyer said that people choose the Google search engine because they prefer it, not because Google incentivizes, or sometimes forces, phone manufacturers to preload the search engine on their phones, like the EU claims it had. The lawyer further stated that the most searched term on Microsoft’s Bing is Google. But at least one EU Competition Commissioner disagrees. One Commissioner said that by forcing phone makers to pre-install its search engine and Chrome browser, only one per cent of people downloaded a different search app.

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. 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 Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.

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