GamerGate, Theranos, Galaxy Note 7 fires: Tech scandals, 2014-16

id=”article-body” class=”row” section=”article-body” data-component=”trackCWV”> A Pew  conducted in 2014 for the World Wide Web’s 25th anniversary reflected an overall warmth for the internet: 76% of people believed that the internet was “good” for society and that the online social climate was “mostly kind.” That didn’t last much longer.

By 2018,  that 62% of people saw online harassment as a “major problem” and that 79% believed tech companies needed to fix it.

The sharp reversal in public opinion was in part thanks to the nonstop, coordinated harassment campaigns  earlier in the decade. Some of the angry trolls who thrived during GamerGate shared the techniques they’d learned and spread their attacks to the broader entertainment industry, politics and more.

The span from 2014 to 2016 brought Silicon Valley’s final years of relative innocence. And even then, there was still plenty of drama to go around.

This is the second part of our series about the biggest tech scandals of the decade. . Now it’s social media’s turn.

Part 3 will follow, among other topics, . 

But we also want to hear from you. Let us know which scandal you think was the worst and why.

GamerGate 2014 Aaron Robinson/CNET

In 2012, a feminist media critic named Anita Sarkeesian to help fund a series of videos looking at how the game industry portrayed women.

The series, , was quickly funded but also attracted an angry group of trolls who .

In 2014, the mob of trolls appeared to re-awaken, only this time in reaction to a screed published about a game developer, Zoe Quinn, and her alleged relationship with an industry report when online mobs more broadly began using tools like doxxing (releasing personal information) and mass harassment campaigns that we saw intensify during the 2016 presidential election.

A mobile payment system’s unfortunate name 2014 PRNewsFoto/Isis

Isis Mobile Wallet, a phone-based payment system created by wireless carriers, .

To be fair, that was just before the terrorist group of the same name became widely known. 

In 2014, Isis Mobile Wallet realized its name was toast and .

Of course, another big problem arrived with Apple Pay. Apple’s mobile payment system launched in October 2014, with Samsung Pay and Android Pay not far behind. Softcard disappeared less than a year later.

Satya Nadella holds a clinic on what not to say 2014 James Martin/CNET

Shortly into his tenure as Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella stuck his foot in his mouth when he  but should instead trust in the system (which today still underpays women relative to their male peers).

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