NYC law targets bias in AI hiring tools, Meta’s Twitter rival gains tens of millions of users after launch

Plus, how company culture makes remote work tick.

Greetings, comms pros! Let’s look at some news stories from this week and see what lessons we can learn from them.

1 . Threads, Meta’s response to Twitter, garners 30+ million sign-ups after release

Look out, Twitter! There’s a new microblogging platform on the block, aiming to rival the major social media player. It’s also the latest in the contest of bravado between billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.

According to the BBC:

Earlier, Mr. Zuckerberg said keeping the platform “friendly… will ultimately be the key to its success”.

But Mr Musk responded: “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”

When asked on Threads whether the app will be “bigger than Twitter”, Mr. Zuckerberg said: “It’ll take some time, but I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it.

“Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully, we will.”

PRDaily’s Allison Carter summed things up well in a story earlier this week:

Will this be the app that kills Twitter once and for all? It’s far too early to say. But it appears to have the best chance of any app that’s tried so far, benefiting from Meta’s resources and plug-and-play Instagram integration.

If you have an Instagram account already, go ahead and set up the Threads account. Take a look around, see what the conversation is like and if it might be worthwhile to use it regularly. If you already post regularly on Twitter, try using similar content on the new app and see what the response is.

If you don’t have an Instagram account but think Threads might be a fit for your organization down the road, go ahead and sign up for an Instagram account anyway. It’s a good idea to reserve your brand name, and that will allow you to move into Threads if and when you decide to get started.

Threads is an intriguing alternative. Explore it, consider its utility, but remember to never put all your eggs in one basket.

As Carter said, it’s too early to tell just what will happen with Twitter after the rise of Threads, but it’ll be worth a watch. With the news that Twitter might be on the verge of suing Meta over taking trade secrets, keep your eyes on this space.

2. New York City begins enforcement of new AI-hiring law

AI is one of the hottest topics in communications and HR beats right now, and a new law in New York City is poised to keep the conversation rolling.

According to VentureBeat:

New York City’s Automated Employment Decision Tool (AEDT) law, believed to be the first in the U.S. aimed at reducing bias in AI-driven recruitment and employment decisions, will now be enforced — after the law went into effect in January and final rules were adopted in April.

Under the AEDT law, it will be unlawful for an employer or employment agency to use artificial intelligence and algorithm-based technologies to evaluate NYC job candidates and employees — unless it conducts an independent bias audit before using the AI employment tools. The bottom line: New York City employers will be the ones taking on compliance obligations around these AI tools, rather than the software vendors who create them.

Despite the fact that these technological advancements have the ability to help streamline HR functions, there’s still a need for human touches in HR. As professionals, we can add that needed layer of protection that can avoid biases that an HR algorithm might not be able to catch. No matter how much we advance technologically, HR will always need human influence to function properly.

3. The key to successful remote work is a strong culture

Here at Ragan, we write about the benefits of remote work all the time. But there might just be a key in optimizing remote and hybrid work — company culture.

According to Forbes columnist Dr. Gleb Tsipursky:

The DNA of remote work is deeply intertwined with the DNA of culture. It’s about more than just trading commutes for comfort and office desks for home setups. It’s about creating a shared vision and values, fostering trust, emphasizing output over hours, and relentlessly adapting to change.

In essence, remote work is ushering in a new era. One where organizations are no longer defined by the walls they inhabit, but by the values they embody, the vision they share, and the global impact they strive to create.

The key to maintaining a positive remote work environment has everything to do with the values and culture an organization demonstrates to its people. With remote work not going away, more companies will continue to function with a geographically dispersed workforce in the future. The tie that’s really going to bind coworkers together will be a sense of positivity and unity that a great culture creates. If you’re a remote-centric organization, you’d better ensure your systems, workflows, tools, org chart—and especially leadership—all move to the same cultural north star.

4. How about some good news?

Have a great weekend comms all-stars!

Sean Devlin is an editor at Ragan Communications. In his spare time he enjoys Philly sports, a good pint and ’90s trivia night.

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