Things get serious, quickly, in this gritty reboot of our annual collection of the lowest points in tech.
Roger ChengFormer Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
ExpertiseMobile, 5G, Big Tech, Social MediaCredentials
SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Editor's note: Another year, another round of embarrassing gaffes, flops and downright terrible behavior. Join us for a look at the biggest Tech Turkeys of 2018.
It's Tech Turkey time.
As we gather with friends and family around the dinner table for a Thanksgiving meal, we reflect on the embarrassing gaffes, flops and downright terrible behavior we like to call Tech Turkeys. And when it comes to 2017 and the tech industry, there was a large rafter of Turkeys in what's been a hectic, chaotic and exhausting year.
Speaking of dark, a word of warning: While this year's list starts out lighthearted enough, it takes a serious turn. The slides go from slightly embarrassing foibles to downright offensive behavior toward the end.
That's because there's one ginormous elephant in the room the tech industry can't ignore: men behaving way more badly than we expected.
If 2017 showcased one thing, it's that powerful men sexually harassing women is a pervasive problem -- and that it's on a scale we're just starting to grasp. Hollywood power player Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey (who allegedly harassed men) may be the most high-profile cases, but prominent venture capitalists and startup CEOs were forced to resign amid sexual harassment allegations months before Hollywood got into the story.
It's a problem that's reached so many places that women anonymously created a "Shitty Media Men" list to call out egregious behavior by reporters and editors.
It almost makes the rant by ex-Googler James Damore, who argued that women may be biologically unfit to be in tech, seem tame in comparison. Almost.
Beyond sexual harassment, we also saw the rise of fake news in our social network feeds and revelations of a disturbing amount of influence by Russia in the US presidential election and in driving outrage over hot-button issues like gun control, Black Lives Matter and the national anthem.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have tried to combat the propaganda efforts, but the problem continues to bewilder them. As we're starting to learn, those trolls are smart and willing to adapt to any countermeasures.