2016. What is the first thing it makes you think of? Harambe? The Dab? The Election? Whichever it is, most were important. The dab shaped American society. Harambe caused a major meme. The election changed the future. But what other, more obscure controversial events were influential last year?
5. Jawaharlal University Protests
On February 9, the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University held a protest on their campus, responding to the meted capital punishment to the 2001 Indian Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. The event was held by students without the University’s permission, and four days after the event the Student Unions president along with 2 other students were arrested. It remains as a debated topic among major news networks.
4. Note 7
With the release of Samsung’s new phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, users immediately realized a huge issue. Within days of the devices release, the batteries of the phones were combusting in their pockets! There was a defect in the battery that caused the phone to heat up, which then caused the battery safeguards to melt and combust, setting the device aflame. Samsung quickly recalled the product with replacements, but after these exploded Samsung gave up and recalled at the phones and gave the customers their money back. Today it remains a controversy in the tech community.
3. The Olympic Issues
The Olympics last year had some issues. The water in the diving pool turned green because of pollution, and Russia lost 111 athletes due to drugs. The Zika virus infected many in Rio, and 5 U.S athletes were arrested and deported. All in all, the 2016 Olympics were the cause of many controversies. But who could forget Phelps Face?
2. Racist Tay
In March, Microsoft released a new AI called Tay, or Tay And You. The bot was to mimic human behavior through Twitter and respond to other users tweets. Within 2 hours of its release, the bot was tweeting racist and abusive comments, insulting Barack Obama and saying Hitler was “swaggy.” The bot was taken down 16 hours after release, but accidentally put online 7 days later. The bot remains down until “Microsoft can locate the existing problems” an unidentified employee stated in an interview. Tay remains a very odd controversy among the Twitter community.
Brexit was the European controversy of the year. It was a vote among the people of Britain to become independent of the European Union. This caused a lot of controversy and was a disruption for many people of Great Britain. The vote was close as 52% of voted to leave the European Union and 48% voted to stay. The British government wants to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which is the former procedure to leave, sometime in mid 2017.
And there you have the top 5 obscure controversies of last year! As you can see, it was a quite an eventful year with more to come in 2017.