The Samsung Galaxy Note7Fake News on FacebookTheranosAll of these and more
Everything exploded. Oof.
The Note7 quite literally exploded, leading Samsung to recall its flagship smartphone before anyone even knew the source of the problem; fake news on Facebook convinced your relatives that completely made up hoaxes about the US presidential candidates were true, and Facebook didn't do anything to stop it; and Theranos went from being worth $9 billion to approximately $0 after the Wall Street Journal revealed that the company's proprietary blood testing machines were putting patients in danger.
The US Department of Justice/FBISamsungThe headphone jackEverybody
Apple had many battles to fight in 2016.
The maker of the iPhone fought the DOJ over the security of the San Bernadino shooter's iPhone; boxed with Samsung in court over patent rights related to the design of the Galaxy line of smartphones; and told the public that the headphone jack, one of the oldest plugs out there, wasn't useful anymore when the company released the jack-less iPhone 7.
The artist formerly known as Snapchat
Snap Inc seems to have the cool factor. Facebook and Instagram both introduced disappearing message features in their apps in 2016, and Instagram directly copied "Stories," but Snapchat's user base doesn't seem to have declined in response. Here's to hoping we won't see Facebook glasses any time soon.
Hillary Clinton/The Democratic National CommitteeThe governmentYahooThe Internet of ThingsAll of the above and more
ALL HACKS ALL THE TIME
Hillary Clinton's emails, released by WikiLeaks (almost certainly provided by Russia), dogged her throughout her campaign; government agencies, even ones that certified the security of voting machines, were hacked; hackers broke into Yahoo to steal info on 1.5 billion of its users; and the Internet of Things almost took down the entire internet when hackers attacked the server provider Dyn by infiltrating your connected refrigerator. And there are likely other hacks we don't know about, yet.
Mommy bloggersYouTubersThe alt-rightGilmore Girls discussion threadsBernie brosTumblr social justice advocates
"We memed a president into office" — 4chan user
The loosely affiliated white nationalist movement that calls itself the alt-right coalesced from the more aggressive forces of the internet: trolls prone to racist and sexist harassment. They were overwhelmingly pro-Donald Trump and were overjoyed at his victory in the election. As one 4chan user put it: "We actually memed a president into office."
Blake Montgomery is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
Contact Blake Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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