US Army planned to sponsor esports and Call of Duty streamers to reach Gen Z, Amazon refuses to comply with federal judge’s order to stop retaliating against unionizing employees and ex-engineer files age discrimination lawsuit against SpaceX.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday December 2nd and I’m your host, Ashee Pamma.
Internal army documents obtained by Motherboard show that the US Army allocated millions of dollars to sponsor a wide range of e-sports tournaments, individual high profile Call of Duty streamers and Twitch events to grow its audience with Gen-Z viewers, women, Black and Hispanic people, The Vice reported. However, after Call of Duty’s publisher, Activision, faced a wave of sexual harassments complaints, all the planned spending was dropped. Still, the documents show that the US Army considered and in particular Call of Duty as a potentially useful branding and recruiting tool.
Amazon is refusing to fully comply with a requirement to tell its employees that it was ordered by a federal judge to stop retaliating against unionizing employees, The Vice reported. The federal cease-and-desist order required that Amazon stop “discharging employees because they engaged in protected concerted activity” and “interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees.” However, emails contained within the new NLRB ( National Labor Relations Board) motion filed Tuesday show that Amazon’s legal team has repeatedly refused to abide by those requirements.
John Johnson, a former principal optics manufacturing engineer at Elon Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX has filed an age discrimination lawsuit with the State of Washington alleging that he was repeatedly deprived of opportunities given to younger, less experienced colleagues and was dismissed when he complained to the company’s human resources department and chief operating officer. Johnson was 58 when he was hired and said he was recurrently stripped of responsibilities after he underwent back surgery due to a work-related incident, according to an affidavit, reviewed by the Guardian. Johnson is asking the Washington Human Rights commission to investigate his allegations after which it can choose to file a charge against the company. Alternatively, the agency may choose to do a broader investigation if Johnson’s allegations are found to be part of a larger pattern of discrimination at SpaceX.
TikTok’s blackout challenge is causing the death of children, Bloomberg reported. The challenge consisted of choking oneself with household items, until blackout, and filming the adrenaline rush of regaining consciousness and then posting on social media. Choking dares have been around for a while but it is now being delivered by powerful social media algorithms to those too young to understand the risk. Nine year old Arriani from Milwaukee passed away trying to execute the challenge. Her death received neither coverage nor TikTok was informed, months after. According to data from Businessweek, including news reports, court records and interviews, the challenge has been linked to the deaths of at least 15 kids.
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