around the world

Results of 2018: Failures of the Year

Sometimes everyone makes mistakes – even Elon Musk and Intel.

In 2018, some famous people and companies made mistakes and became victims of scandals. This led to layoffs, massive boycotts and more. we compiled a list of the 10 most disastrous situations of the year and figured out how it happened.

Elon Musk – post loss due to Twitter and fine

Elon Musk Getty Photos

What is the failure

In 2018, Elon Musk began to actively use Twitter as never before: his statements and responses to comments were often the main themes of many news outlets, including . The profile of an entrepreneur has become a kind of communication channel through which one could hear news about his projects or just laugh.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Some do their hair to express themselves. I use Twitter.[/perfectpullquote]
Elon Musk

Because of the postings on Twitter in 2018, Musk hit at least twice in major scandals. In July, he called the pedophile the diver who saved the children in Thailand – this ended in a lawsuit against a businessman.

However, the fatal for Musk became a tweet from 7 August. The entrepreneur wrotethat he intended to buy Tesla from the stock exchange and make it a private company when the price of the shares reaches $ 420 each. After that, the company’s securities rose by 7% in a few minutes, and the exchanges had to stop trading in order to prevent speculation.


Musk did not warn about plans to privatize Tesla regulators and the stock exchange, although usually companies should suspend trading before important announcements. The announcement on Twitter of an entrepreneur provoked a violent reaction from the market and became the reason for the investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

On September 27, the department filed charges against Musk of fraud and deception of investors. According to the CSM version, he knew that he could not finance the Tesla buyout. The regulator demanded that Musk be removed from the management of the company and prohibit taking seats on the board of directors of other enterprises.

September 30 Musk went on a deal with the SEC. The entrepreneur agreed to pay a fine of $ 40 million and leave the post of chairman of the Tesla board of directors for at least three years. In addition, Musk promised to limit the use of social networks, but he remained CEO of the company.

Journalist Der Spiegel – the loss of a career because of fakes

Klaas Relotius Photo Eventpress

What is the failure

Klaas Relotius worked as a journalist at Der Spiegel since 2011 and in seven years wrote more than 60 materials for publication. For his reports, he received several journalism awards, including from CNN, Deutscher Reporterpreis and the European Press Prize. Relotius was considered one of the best German representatives of the profession.

On December 21, the man admitted that he had invented at least 14 stories. Among them, a report about an American who is present at someone else’s execution, material about Iraqi children who were kidnapped and rehabilitated by the Islamic State and the story of possible prisoners in Guantanamo prison.

In Der Spiegel believe that more fake materials. The investigation is not yet completed. Relotius explained his actions by fear of revealing the truth. According to him, the further he went, the more clearly he understood that he could not fail.


The journalist was fired from Der Spiegel and deprived of all awards. Now he is unlikely to return to the profession. Two editors Der Spiegel suspended from work at the time of the investigation. According to the New York Post, they could be aware that the journalist’s stories were made up.

The editors of Der Spiegel called the situation a “low point” in their history. The publication promised to change the procedures for checking materials and published on the website answers to questions about the case, as well as an explanation about fact-checking.

Bethesda – “raw” Fallout 76 and refusal to return money to players

What is the failure

Bethesda Publishes Fallout 76 during the E3 conference in May 2018. About the game almost nothing was told until October, when they first showed to journalists. The press then noted that a month and a half before the release, the game did not have an established image.

In late October, Bethesda launched the Fallout 76 closed beta test, which players called the “strangest beta in my life.” In the beta version, they found a bug that deleted all 50 GB of game files, because of which it had to be downloaded again.

In addition, players are faced with the problems of the engine: for example, the running speed was tied to the number of frames per second. Many who bought the beta version, did not begin to return the money, explaining that the user has already “downloaded the game.”

November 14, Fallout 76 went on sale and faced with criticism of players and journalists. Bethesda was accused of selling the beta version of the game for the full cost and disregard for the players. In addition, the company saved on bag materials from the collector’s edition, replacing it at the last moment, and put a cardboard disc instead of the promised physical one.


Fallout 76 has become one of the most undervalued major gaming releases. Her rating on Metacritic at the time of this writing is 51/100. Numerous problems of the game and the behavior of Bethesda turned into a meme.

The release of Fallout 76 has become one of the most notorious failures in the gaming industry in recent years. Only 8 days after the release, the cost of the game was reduced by 50%.

Intel – processor vulnerabilities

What is the failure

On January 3, the media reported that Intel had discovered Specter and Meltdown critical vulnerabilities, due to which system developers had to rebuild their core. Using vulnerabilities, attackers could gain access to a protected part of the processor’s memory, where passwords and keys to programs are stored.

On January 4, Intel stated that the problem was not only present in its processors, but Microsoft released an emergency update of Windows. January 9, the company had to withdraw it because of problems with the owners of AMD processors.

A few days after that, the problems started with the owners of Intel: the systems on some computers were constantly rebooting. Despite this, the company urged not to refuse updates.


According to researchers, updates have lowered system performance by 5-30%, depending on the tasks. This information was confirmed by Intel, but noted that for ordinary users, the changes will be insignificant.

Several owners of Intel processors sued the company in a US court. Plaintiffs blamed Intel for not adequately responding to the problem and hiding vulnerability for too long. The owners of processors believe that system updates have reduced the performance of their computers, and an error in the processor architecture makes them defective.

“United Russia” – elections in the regions

What is the failure

On September 9, a single voting day was held in Russia, where the heads of 26 subjects of the federation, deputies of regional dumas and governors were elected. According to Vedomosti, the authorities did not specifically allow the opposition parties before the elections because of fear of competition.

September 10 it became known that the candidates from the “United Russia” lost theCommunist Party in Khakassia, Irkutsk and Ulyanovsk regions. The strangest situation occurred in Primorye, in which, after the first round, the winner was notdetermined , and the results of the second were canceled due to fraud .


For the first time in history, elections in the Vladimir region, Khakassia and the Khabarovsk Territory held a second round of elections. In Khakassia , the only candidate from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation who had no rivals won in the second round . In Primorsky Krai, Oleg Kozhemyako, acting head of the region, became governor , his main opponent from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia won 25% of the vote.

According to Vedomosti, the Kremlin decided to closely monitor the selection of opposition candidates so that they could cope with the management of the region in the event of victory. As the source noted, all candidates who beat United Russia were “technical”.

Roscosmos – accidents on Earth and the reaction to problems in space

What is the failure

In 2018, two major scandals were connected with Roscosmos at once. August 30 at the ISS occurred air leakbecause of the hole in the domestic compartment of the “Union”. As versions, according to the media, considered the intervention of American astronauts and negligence in assembling the apparatus on Earth.

After that, after being checked, the RSC Energia, which assembled the device, did not find evidence of an assembly error. The commander of the ISS said that the crew was not related to the appearance of the hole.

Inside the ship, no trace of sealant was found that would be needed when drilling on Earth. Therefore, the Russian cosmonauts conducted an unplanned spacewalk, examined the household compartment outside and took samples of the skin when they returned to Earth. These data have not yet been published and may be classified.

Another failure of Roscosmos was crashSoyuz-FG rockets with ISS crew aboard. The astronauts were saved thanks to the emergency system, but the rocket and the cargo for the station were destroyed. NASA reported the accident immediately during the live broadcast, while the Roscosmos social network was silent for half an hour.


The main version of the accident was the abnormal operation of the first and second stage separation sensors. According to the state commission, during the assembly of the rocket at Baikonur, the device was installed incorrectly. The search for the culprit of the accident took up law enforcement.

During a press conference in Moscow, the head of NASA, Jim Braidenstein, said that the agency would continue to use Soyuz. However, he noted that it was necessary to come up with alternative ways to launch on the ISS.

Because of the accident, Roskosmos did not begin to cancel launches to the ISS, but accelerated preparation: the mission “Union MS-11” was launched earlier by almost three weeks. The flight plan also moved: cosmonauts Alexei Ovchinin and Nick Haig, who did not make it to the station due to the accident, will try to send again on March 1.

Video bloggers – political advertising

What is the failure

Before the presidential elections in March 2018, “,” launched a special project “Who is your candidate” with Russian video bloggers. Lizzka, Yuri Khovansky, Danila Kashin, Kuzma, Dania Komkov and Stas Yornik, as well as Yuli Onishko and not only participated in the videos with calls to vote.

In the description of the videos it was stated that they are either a parody of campaign videos from real candidates or a joke. Some bloggers had previously rejected their participation in the special project “Tapes”, but then the videos with them still came out .


The bloggers who participated in the special project were criticized both by the audience and many colleagues in the workshop. At first, their clips were put on a lot of dislikes, however, after the election, the numbers quickly returned to normal indicators, and there was no serious outflow of subscribers.

In the summer

“VKontakte” – things for repost

What is the failure

In 2018, thanks to the story of Maria Motuznaya and other persons involved, criminal cases of extremist memes and reposts gained a wide response. The defendants in most cases were charged on the basis of information provided by VKontakte, so users decided that the social network helps the police.

Mail.Ru Group (owns VKontakte) reacted to the scandal only two weeks after the Motuznaya case broke up in social networks. The company opposed criminal cases for repost, but did not immediately identify any specific actions.

The company was unable to quickly reassure users and explain how to interact with law enforcement. Because of this, theories emerged that VKontakte employees exchange information with investigators through informal communication channels.


On August 13, VKontakte announced the complete privacy of profiles, which Pavel Durov removed from the social network at the dawn of its growth. The company launched “closed profiles” on August 31.

In addition, on August 14, VKontakte announced the appearance of a section on working with government agencies. It was launched on October 5 and included there only reference information without the statistics of user data requests.

In August, Mail.Ru Group appealed to the State Duma with a request to introduce a bill on the decriminalization of reposts. The status of the company’s request remains unknown, but on October 3, Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma a bill on partial decriminalization of Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on extremism.

In November, Vkontakte also opened the possibility for users to download all the data that they collect about them. Prior to this, the social network issued this information only to law enforcement agencies and residents of the European Union for GDPR.

On December 28, the president signed his own amendments after approval by deputies. Now responsibility for repost and publication of extremist materials will come only after a repeated violation.

Bloomberg – chips in Chinese servers that nobody found

What is the failure

October 4, Bloomberg reported that Chinese military intelligence installed spy microchips on motherboards and servers manufactured by Supermicro. According to the newspaper, they were delivered to 30 large American companies: Apple and Amazon were mentioned separately.

Bloomberg claimed to have received information from 17 different sources, including anonymous interlocutors among US officials. According to journalists, for the first time spyware chips were found back in 2015: in the offices of Apple and Amazon. And since then, the FBI allegedly leads a secret investigation. However, companies denied both vulnerabilities in their systems and products Supermicro.

Apple took an unprecedented step for itself and released a sharp refutation of media information on its website. Apple called the malicious chip information incorrect and noted that it had repeatedly tried to explain this to Bloomberg. Shortly before the publication, Apple even turned separately to the publication and reported that after checking the equipment, it did not find any bugs.


After the publication of Bloomberg Supermicro shares fell by 60% in a few hours. The company issued several refutations and even conducted an independent audit of its own equipment, but was unable to convince the market.

Three months after the publication of the stock, the company could not return to the previous figures. It did not help even the statement of one of the few sources mentioned in the material Bloomberg that journalists distorted his words.

Bitcoin – lost 80% of the cost for the year

What is the failure

In December 2017, Bitcoin set a new record almost every week. Experts madepositive predictions about the future of cryptocurrency, which grew 20 times over the year.

However, in the winter of 2018, the cryptocurrency market began to collapse. And Bitcoin is not spared. By December, he had lost 80% of his value, and those who bought it at peak values ​​went into minus.


As market participants told , many took loans and sold property in order to buy mining equipment and cryptocurrency. However, not only ordinary cryptoinvestors faced problems, but also those who mined cryptocurrency at home or tried to create a business from selling equipment. In an attempt to survive the fall of the course, many investors published memes on Reddit. By them you can track all the way cryptocurrencies – from growth to fall.

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