25 November 2022

Welcome to today's '7 Things'.

Adrian Weckler Adrian Weckler
Technology Editor

1. Musk releases the ghouls

Elon took another poll, this time asking whether “all suspended accounts” should be given an “amnesty”, subject to not having “broken any law”. His followers enthusiastically agreed, so now it's happening. Thus is the stage set for a more dangerous version of Twitter, where libertarian ideas are cited to protect the kind of speech not allowed on almost all other large public platforms. On Sunday I'll be writing about the threat this poses to Twitter's continued availability in the two main app stores, based on conversations I've had with very senior people close to those app stores.

But it may also now be time for those running the Irish Twitter office, which is led by global policy VP Sinead McSweeney, to start better explaining what this approach will be, especially since Twitter has now closed its Brussels office. Indeed, this is exactly what the European Justice Commissioner, Didier Reynders, thinks – he just met Twitter’s Irish leadership to ask those same questions. (He gave an interview yesterday to RTE outlining the bones of what he was asking about.)

This is a very unfortunate position for Irish executives, including McSweeney, to be in. Their new owner keeps making up rules as he goes along. If someone here tries to explain it one day, the rules might be completely different the next. Nevertheless, public interest is now starting to match, or even outweigh, feelings of sympathy for Dublin-based staff. Is Twitter to morph into the social media platform of choice for soft racism, hate speech and conspiracy theorists? If not, can the company start reassuring users – and advertisers – that this is irrefutably the policy goal?

2. Exclusive: Signal's new president, Meredith Whittaker

Here's this week's interview with Signal’s recently-appointed president, who is still probably best known for leading Google’s mass staff walkout over ‘unethical’ contracts with the US military. She takes WhatsApp down a peg and has some harsh things to say about Europe’s regulators. You can listen to the Big Tech Show podcast with her here, or on any podcast platform.

3. Booking.com and Ryanair get into a scrape

Booking.com is seeking damages from Ryanair in the US over the Irish airline’s screen-scraping lawsuit. The online travel giant claims that Ryanair’s legal action against it is “tortious”, adding that Ryanair is “interfering” with Booking.com’s customers and “defaming” the company.

4. Review: Nothing Ear Stick buds

‘A good set of earbuds but not a great set of earbuds.’

5. Tech layoffs

This week, it’s HP Inc, which is getting ready to cut up to 6,000 jobs over the next three years. On the other hand, Ibec says that demand for tech talent in Ireland is still high despite recent redundancies.

6. How to spot a fake Irish Black Friday deal

Today is Black Friday and Irish retailers are out in force with their ancient RRPs and misleading discounts. Here’s how to spot them and, generally, how to make the most out of the sales.

7. Buymie tops Deloitte Fast 50

The same-day grocery delivery service has recorded growth of 6,900pc over the last four years. The pandemic certainly didn’t hurt the business.

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