This week, the tech industry was hit with the news that hate speech on Twitter has jumped following Elon Musk’s takeover, according to a new report. While this didn’t come as a surprise to many users, given that Musk has reinstated the accounts of controversial figures, some of whom were banned in the first place for posting hate speech.
On a more optimistic note, DJ powerhouse Steve Aoki will be going to space next year after accepting an invitation from Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. In the app space, meanwhile, Instagram has finally given users a clue as to why their posts are being shadowbanned and Apple Music is preparing for holiday singalongs with a new feature.
Below, HYPEBEAST has rounded up the top tech stories of the week so you can stay up to date on trends in the industry.
A Japanese Billionaire Tapped Steve Aoki for a 2023 SpaceX Moon Mission
Steve Aoki will be going to space sometime next year on a flight with Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. The billionaire had bought all of the seats on a SpaceX rocket ship dedicated to space tourism in 2018 and has now assembled a team of civilians to join him for the ride, Aoki among them. As part of Maezawa’s “dearMoon project,” the DJ will experience a lunar flyby alongside Big Bang rapper T.O.P., Youtuber Tim Dodd and more.
Expressing his excitement for the opportunity, Aoki said, “since I was a little I was dreaming of going to the moon. It’s becoming more and more real every day.”
Instagram Finally Explained Why Posts Are Shadowbanned
One of the most frustrating things on Instagram is realizing you’ve been shadowbanned. While the exact circumstances surrounding shadowbanning remains murky, it essentially means that your content is being deprioritized to your followers, as well as the platform’s larger user base.
The app is finally attempting to address users’ complaints over shadowbanning with a new feature. Professional accounts will be able to view if a post is blocked from being recommended under their Account Status tab. They’ll then be given the option to edit the post, take it down or appeal Instagram’s decision to shadowban them.
Apple Music Invited Listeners To Sing Along to Their Favorite Songs With a New In-App Feature
Later this month, Apple Music will roll out a new feature called Apple Music Sing. The app already offers the option to view song lyrics but will now add to the experience with customization tools designed to allow listeners to sing along to their music. The feature will give listeners the option of multiple lyrics views, such as lead vocals, duets and backup. Lyrics will be animated and dance to the rhythm of the song. Users can also adjust the vocal levels and even take things a step further through mashing up multiple singles.
Nothing Founder Carl Pei Talked Plans To Potentially Launch a Smartphone in the U.S.
Earlier this year, growing tech hardware company Nothing made waves with the launch of the Nothing Phone (1), a smartphone that looks like and is similarly priced to the to the iPhone SE. Since then, the company has sold over half a million units throughout Euopre, Asia and the Middle East, but has yet to bring the device stateside.
Founder Carl Pei is now considering a U.S. launch, telling CNBC that the company is in the early stages of “discussions with some carriers in the US to potentially launch a future product there. It’s definitely a market where there’s already a lot of interest for our products.”
Twitter Hate Speech Increased Drastically Following Elon Musk’s Takeover
Long before Elon Musk purchased Twitter, the mogul has expressed his frustrations at the platform’s content moderation policies and censorship on certain accounts.In his goal to cultivate “an inclusive arena for free speech,” one of his first moves as CEO was to reinstate the accounts of controversial figures who had been banned from the platform.
As a result, research groups have found that hateful content has increased on Twitter, The New York Times reported. Citing data from the London-based non-profit Center for Countering Digital Hate, the report detailed that racial, homophobic and anti-Semitic slurs have all increased. Hate speech directed at Black people surged from 1,282 tweets daily to 3,900, while tweets against the LGBT+ community have increased by over 60 percent.