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No fries with that: McDonalds Japan facing fry shortage

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McDonalds outlets within Japan are running short on french fries and are making drastic changes

Global fast food outlet McDonalds is seeing a shortage of french fries in Japan.

The fast food company is being forced to ration the product in the nation because of supply chain bottlenecks. It sources potatoes from North America, where omicron cases have been surging.

Reports state that in addition to coronavirus wreaking havoc, flooding at a Vancouver port has further squeezed the logistics network.

McDonald’s—usually goes by the local slang name of “Makudo” or “Makku” in Japan—is trying to arrange alternative flights to ensure the shortage doesn’t continue to plague its 2,900 Japanese outlets in the new year.

Meanwhile, it’s offering customers a 50 yen discount on combos (that typically come with medium fries) on account of the smaller portion.

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time McDonald’s fries have faced a crunch in Japan. It happened around this time six years ago, too.

McDonald’s hopes that supply issues that will affect its 2,900 outlets in Japan will be resolved by New Year’s eve and said the move won’t affect its hash brown offerings.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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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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