Also in this letter:
⚡️Crypto miners, gamers at war
🛒Amazon profit triples
⬇️Twitter expects user growth to slow
‘We should hear voices of citizens,’ says Supreme Court
“If citizens communicate their grievance on social media and [the] internet, then it cannot be said that it’s wrong information,” a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud said on Friday while hearing a suo motu case related to Covid-19.
The court warned the authorities — from the central government to police chiefs — not to take down messages of people airing their grievances or appealing for help on social media during the pandemic. Any action taken against such posts by distressed citizens would be treated as contempt of the court, the bench said.
“There should be free flow of information, we should hear voices of citizens,” it added.
As Covid cases surge in India, Twitter and other social media platforms have emerged as a beacon of hope for several people to crowdsource everything from oxygen cylinders to hospital beds and plasma donors.
Social media censorship: The government has recently tightened its grip on social media platforms, seeking to clamp down on posts critical of its handling of the pandemic. Last week, Twitter had censored around 50 such tweets on the instructions of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
The Indian government had also directed Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others to block over 100 such posts. It defended this move saying it was done in order to “prevent obstructions” in the fight against the pandemic and to prevent the escalation of crimes against public order.
- Last week, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath had asked officials to prosecute people who talk about the lack of oxygen at hospitals on social media under the National Security Act.
On Thursday, Twitter had clarified that if it received more requests to withhold content from the Indian government, it would engage “openly and constructively in the spirit of serving public conversation during a crisis”.
The company will proactively notify the account holder directly on the legal order it has received, unless prohibited from doing so. It will also publish requests to withhold content on the Lumen database, a research project of the Berkman Klein Centre for Internet & Society at Harvard University that gathers and studies copies of takedown notices.
Crypto miners, gamers clash over chips
The global chip shortage has resulted in an online brawl between two communities — gamers and cryptocurrency miners
What’s the fight about? At the core of this battle is the disrupted supplies of graphics processing units (GPUs), due to a global shortage of semiconductor chips and a surge in demand from both gamers and miners, who are now accusing each other of hoarding them.
- The battle has further escalated with the gaming industry seeing huge growth during the pandemic, and Indians joining the gold rush for digital assets. This has led to a spike in the prices of graphic cards.
For chipmakers such as
Tweet of the day
ETtech Deals Digest
India’s startup ecosystem saw a new unicorn — Urban Company — minted this week. Other key deals include corner-stores commerce platform Elastic Run and cloud dental software startup CareStack
Amazon has been one of the biggest winners during the pandemic and continues to post record profits amid robust demand for its online commerce and cloud computing.
Amazon’s net income has tripled to $8.1 billion in Q1-FY22, from $2.5 billion a year ago. Total sales hit $108 billion, up 44% from $75.5 billion in the same quarter last year.
Amazon Web Services is a key driver for Amazon’s overall profits. in Q1, it accounted for nearly 47% of the company’s operating income with $4.16 billion profit. Revenue from the division jumped 32% year-on-year to $13.5 billion. Amazon recently roped in Adam Selipsky as the chief executive of AWS as the current head Andy Jassy is set to take over as Amazon chief executive later this year.
Amazon also gave a rare preview into how its streaming service has performed during the pandemic. Founder Jeff Bezos said that over 175 million Prime members have streamed shows and movies in the past year, and streaming hours are up more than 70% year-over-year. Earlier this month, Amazon said it had clocked 200 million Prime members across the world.
Big Tech’s blockbuster earnings: Amazon’s strong performance capped what has been a blockbuster earnings week for Big Tech firms – Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft – with each of the firms posting significant gains in profits and revenue. The combined yearly revenue of these firms is about $1.2 trillion, registering more than 25% growth since the pandemic started last year, as noted by The New York Times.
Twitter warns of slowing user growth
Twitter posted strong revenue growth but warned of rising costs and slowing user growth as the pandemic bump fizzles out.
Details: Twitter’s ad sales grew by 32% year-on-year to $899 million while the total revenue rose 28% year-on-year to $1.04 billion in Q1-FY22. Net profit was at $68 million for the quarter as compared to a $7 million loss in the same quarter last year.
Twitter now has 199 million average monetisable daily active users (mDAU), up 20% year-over-year. mDAU is Twitter’s own custom metric that counts only users to whom the platform shows ads.
What next? For Q2-FY22, Twitter projected revenues between $980 million and $1.08 billion. The company also noted it was hiring employees more quickly than it had planned for the year, which would result in increased expenses. It expects headcount, as well as total costs and expenses, to increase at least 25% in 2021 year-on-year. This resulted in Twitter’s stock diving 11% in after-hours trading on Thursday.