Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
- Facebook has banned hundreds of groups and accounts linked to the far-right boogaloo movement. The social media giant said it removed 220 Facebook accounts, 95 Instagram accounts, 28 pages, and 106 groups linked to the boogaloo network it identified from its platform.
- The Federal Communications Commission has designated the Chinese telecommunications firms Huawei and ZTE as national security threats. The New York Times reported that the move cuts off the two firms from millions in broadband subsidies.
- Alphabet’s healthcare unit Verily has suspended bonuses mid-pandemic to fund diversity programs instead, frustrating employees, according to a memo obtained by Business Insider. Employees wrote in a letter to the company that the decision “implies that these efforts are charity causes not worthy of their own investment.”
- SAP has said it will suspend advertisements on Facebook and Instagram as it endorsed the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign against the social network. The company said it would suspend all paid ads until Facebook signaled “a significant, action-driven commitment to combating the spread of hate speech and racism on its platforms.”
- Google has confirmed it will buy smart glasses maker North, in a move that hints at higher ambition in augmented reality tech. The price of the deal is unknown, although a previous report claimed Google was buying the company for $180 million.
- The UK is set to finally legalize electric scooter rentals from Saturday as it tries to avoid floods of people on public transport. The UK Department for Transport (DfT) will this week publish its legal framework for allowing pilots of e-scooter rental schemes to get underway.
- Europe’s $1.9 billion ride-hailing unicorn Bolt is rolling out electric bikes just weeks after Uber flamed out of the market. Bolt’s e-bike launch follows Uber pulling out of the scooter and bike-sharing market with the sale of its Jump business to Lime in May.
- Facial-recognition software fails to correctly identify people ‘96% of the time,’ according to Detroit’s police chief. Police around the US use facial-recognition software, though several major cities have banned its use.
- A Bay Area politician is pushing to rename the Zuckerberg San Francisco Hospital as anger swirls around Facebook’s lax hate speech policies. In 2015, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated $75 million to the hospital, which renamed itself in their honor.
- A Tesla on Autopilot slammed into a police car, according to a new report — and now the driver is facing criminal charges. A Tesla slammed into a police cruiser during a traffic stop in Massachusetts in December 2019 but the driver could now face negligence charges.
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