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Worst High-Tech Disasters of 2017

In the scheme of things, high-tech disasters generally pale in comparison to natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornados and wildfires. But because they can affect millions, high-tech disasters are worth noting, and in 2017 there were plenty. Here's my selection of the top six.

6. Apple’s iPhone slowdown

This is a big embarrassment and screw-up that has given Apple a black eye that will not easily go away. The company admitted that they slow down iPhone processors with software updates, as the batteries deteriorate over a couple of years of use. It plays right into the long-held conspiracy theory that they make their phones go slower to encourage replacement sales. While Apple said they do it to prevent phones from suddenly shutting down, they never suggested that the batteries be replaced. Now they’ve apologized, offering replacement batteries for $29 instead of $79 and saying their software will be more informative.

5. Facebook’s fake news denials

A year ago Mark Zuckerberg refused to acknowledge that stories posted on Facebook, especially throughout the presidential campaign, could have had an effect on the election. But in the past few months, Facebook's message on the role it played in the election has changed. Zuckerberg moved from saying it was a crazy idea, to admitting it was possible, to confirming it occurred. Still, the company has been slow to come around and address the fact that so many are gaming the system — and Facebook’s algorithms do little to prevent it.