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Small investors piled into stocks in 2021, at times banding together on online forums like Reddit's WallStreetBets to stoke a frenzy over certain companies like GameStop. The financially struggling video game retailer surged more than 1,600% in January as novice investors using trading apps like Robinhood snapped up shares. The mania led to big losses for some hedge funds, multiple halts in trading and congressional hearings asking who was getting hurt.

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Social media companies had an eventful year, starting with Twitter and Facebook banning then-President Donald Trump from their platforms after the Capitol riots. Later in the year the debate over social media's impact on the public exploded when Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked tens of thousands of damning internal documents about the harm the company is causing to its users around the world. Amid the fallout that has included congressional hearings, Facebook rebranded itself Meta Platforms, reflecting its commitment to developing the metaverse. CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the metaverse as a "virtual environment" you can go inside of — instead of just looking at on a screen.

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In August, 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs. Then in September, another 4.4 million did the same. We refer to it as the great resignation, though others call it the great reshuffling or the great reorganization. Whatever you choose to call it, the Covid-driven phenomenon looks the same: People are rethinking their careers and making […]

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