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Google hit with new EU antitrust complaint

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A Danish online job-search rival has filed an antitrust complaint against Google with EU regulators, alleging the online search giant had allegedly used its market power to push its own service, Google for Jobs

Google was hit with a new antitrust complaint on Monday (June 27), filed to EU regulators by a Danish online job-search rival.

Jobindex alleges the Alphabet unit has used its market power to favour its own job search service.

Google for Jobs launched in Europe in 2018 and triggered criticism from 23 online job-search websites, including Jobindex, the following year.

The latest complaint could accelerate EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s scrutiny of Google For Jobs three years after it first came under her microscope.

The European Commission and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Vestager has fined Google more than $8.4 billion in recent years for various anti-competitive practices. Google has previously said it made changes in Europe after complaints from online job-search rivals.

Jobindex founder and CEO Kaare Danielsen said his company had built up the largest jobs database in Denmark by the time Google for Jobs entered the local market last year. But he said it soon lost 20% of search traffic to Google.

He said Google wasn’t just stifling competition, but also harming labor markets.

Jobindex said it had seen examples of free-riding, with some of its own job ads copied without its permission.

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Four-day office week for Snapchat employees

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Snapchat is asking workers to return to the office 80% of the time, or the equivalent of four days a week.

They want workers back from the start of next year.

It’s the latest sign of tech employees receiving less flexibility nearly three years after the pandemic took hold.

It also comes amid a wave of cost-cutting in the tech sector.

The company says in a statement: “We believe that being together in person, while retaining flexibility for our team members, will enhance our ability to deliver on our strategic priorities of growing our community, driving revenue growth, and leading in [augmented reality].”

The new policy will take effect at the end of February.

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Twitter quietly cancels COVID misinformation policy

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More big changes at Twitter under the new Elon Musk ownership.

This time, its Twitter’s controversial COVID misinformation policy, which the social platform has quietly canceled.

Twitter said in December 2020 that it would begin to label and remove misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines.

But Twitter CEO Elon Musk has been a vocal critic of how health officials reacted to the coronavirus pandemic.

Musk has committed to free speech on Twitter, which might explain why the change has now been enacted.

But online safety experts have contended his approach has led to an increase in hate speech, harassment and misinformation on the platform.

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Twitter users are flocking to smaller platforms

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Twitter users

Twitter users flock to smaller platforms, as Musk takes control

Twitter’s instability under Musk’s leadership has resulted in users joining smaller platforms.

The uncertain future of Twitter with mass firings and staff walk outs have caused a sea of doubt. Many are now weighing up their options in case Twitter crumbles over the next few weeks.

Smaller and lesser-known platforms such as Social Hive and Mastodon have become a life raft for Twitter users.

Mastodon is fast becoming known as a Twitter alternative and has 2.4 million active monthly users. It’s a dramatic increase from the 381,000 users the platform had the day Musk closed the Twitter deal.

Mastodon is an open-source, decentralised online software. It allows users to set up their own servers to communicate with each other.

It’s becoming a firm favourite with journalists and academics. With many of the same functions as Twitter, Mastodon has been described as a combination of Twitter and alternate microblogging site, Tumblr.

Hive Social is another social networking site attracting scores of Twitter users since Musk’s reign.

Hive now has 2 million users and recently hit the top of the App Store. Its founder is 24 years old and the platform has only two employees.

With a simple and user-friendly design, Hive has attracted Twitter users searching for a new home in preparation for Twitter’s possible demise under Musk’s impulsive leadership.

If Twitter turns the corner, it will also be very interesting to see if original users abandon Mastodon and Hive Social to return to their Twitter homes.

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