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Qatar Airways voted world’s best airline

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After two years of aviation turbulence, the Middle Eastern airline has still come out on top

Although the aviation industry has been in turmoil since the start of the pandemic, Qatar Airways has had another hit year.

The airline has claimed the pedestal for world’s best airline for the sixth year running, ranked by Skytrax, a review body that also grades the best airports.

Qatar Airways was also ranked first for five other categories including World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge, World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat, World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering and World’s Best Airline in the Middle East.

Qatar Airways wins the ‘Oscars of the Aviation Industry’.

The airline’s CEO Akbar Al-Baker says the award is a great achievement and “fitting recognition” for the work invested in taking care of passengers.

“We never abandoned our loyal customers when they needed us the most, we continued flying to get people home and implemented stringent biosafety measures to provide strong reassurance for travellers, all while continuing to innovate to ensure we remain the airline of choice for millions of passengers across the globe,” says Mr Al-Baker.

The Skytrax World Airline Awards ranks companies based on their performance and quality, looking at 350 global airlines across 23 months, from September 2019 to July 2021.

Singapore Airlines was voted second, while Japanese company, ANA All Nippon Airways came third.

Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted says Qatar Airways has maintained its high standards of innovation and service both throughout normal times and through the current global pandemic.

“To be named as the World’s Best Airline is a great recognition of Qatar Airways high standards, and to win this highest accolade for a sixth time is a remarkable achievement,” he says.

This comes as Qatar Airways group reported annual losses of $US 4.1 billion with operating losses shrinking to seven per cent.

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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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