1. Austin E-Scooter Investigation
Three specialists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are heading to Austin, TX to conduct an epidemiology study (study of diseases or in this case, study on manmade health threats) on e-scooter accidents. They’ll specifically be studying 37 emergency calls and 68 reported scooter injuries over a 60-day period (Sept. 5 to Nov. 4). As there are currently over 11K scooters in Austin, these specialists are searching for the cause of the crashes and ways to lessen such incidents. Apparently, this is the first CDC study on dockless scooters in the U.S. Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo said regulations and informing the public on these upcoming regulations are a priority. A likely surprise to many, there are six “dismount zones” in Austin where scooters are not allowed, including the most populous scooter areas, South Congress Avenue and Sixth Street.
2. J. Dorsey Accused of Being ‘Tone Deaf’
Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, is facing ‘tone deaf’ accusations after reminiscing about his meditation trip to Myanmar on Twitter. Out of all of his posts glorifying the country and its people, urging others to travel there, none mentioned the plight of the Rohingya, a mostly Muslim minority group that has killed thousands of people, burned down land and has caused hundreds of thousands to flee Myanmar. Dorsey is facing a multitude of repercussions, including criticism about social media platforms as a whole, with Facebook as the leading example, obviously, they need to do better when censoring hate. The Myanmar military personnel turned Facebook into a tool for ethnic cleansing to target the Rohingya, Facebook failed again to protect its users. Dorsey has yet to comment.
3. JUUL and Underage Vaping
Popular e-cigarette company JUUL Labs has taken huge steps to combat underage cigarette use. The company has officially restricted the sale of all non-tobacco flavored pods from vape shops and convenience stores. Additionally, they have shut down their Facebook and Instagram accounts and have asked the platforms to help them remove youth-oriented JUUL content. These decisions will likely cut JUUL’s in-retail sales by 45% and lose 77K followers on Instagram and 11K followers on Facebook. To date, JUUL has captured 68% of the U.S. e-cigarette market, as youth vaping has jumped 75% within the past year. “Our intent was never to have youth use JUUL products,” JUUL CEO Kevin Burns wrote in a statement. “But intent is not enough, the numbers are what matter, and the numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarette products is a problem. We must solve it.”