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Facebook, Fortnite, net neutrality: The top tech headlines of 2018 (so far)

It’s been a hectic first half of the year.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his company were back in the headlines this year -- for all the wrong reasons. 

James Martin/CNET

Wow, that was a crazy year. Wait a minute, it's only July?

You'd be forgiven for wanting a break from 2018. After all, the torrent of headlines flooding in from the tech world has been virtually ceaseless. Maybe we'll get a reprieve on this Independence Day-shortened week. (Then again, I may've jinxed us all.)

The sheer volume of headlines and areas they touch -- everything from gaming to self-driving cars to politics -- underscores how technology has steadily taken over our lives. Even if you wanted to, escaping the tendrils of tech is no easy feat. Whether it's the debate over net neutrality rules getting rolled back or the inescapable phenomenon that is Fortnite, chances are you were affected by some of these stories.

But ultimately, it's the controversy over Facebook losing the personal data of 87 million users, which was used by a company that crafted targeted political ads for the 2016 US presidential election, that CNET crowned the biggest story of 2018 (so far). The data breach took an already shaken Facebook, bruised and battered from the fake news controversy of 2017, and raised questions about how it both gathers and protects our personal information.

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The scandal ultimately prompted CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear before the US Congress and the EU parliament, and forced the company to go on a goodwill publicity tour with posters and commercials vowing to fight fake news, spam and the other dark elements that have surfaced on the social networking giant's platform.

On a lighter note, debate over whether you heard Yanny vs. Laurel pitched you against friends and family (go team Laurel!), and Avengers: Infinity War became a cultural touchstone that also served as some badly needed escapist fare.

Check out our full list in the gallery, which is chock full of artificial intelligence references (to get our paranoia even more juiced); self-driving cars; Elon Musk references; mergers and acquisitions; and Supreme Court rulings. And yes, President Donald Trump makes the list a few times. 

CNET Magazine: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET's newsstand edition.

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