Hashtag Trending, July 14 – Google facing fines (again); Remote work hurts pay; YouTube’s suggestions faces heat

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Hashtag Trending Podcast

Today’s Hashtag Trending episode was prepared by Jori Negin-Shecter

Google faces hefty fines from a French watchdog organization, remote work may stagnate promotion odds, and Youtube’s algorithm is facing some flack.

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It’s all the biz/tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, July 14th and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Google has been fined 500 million Euros for failing to comply with officials’ orders regarding negotiations with France’s news publisher’s on copyrights. The fine comes as pressure builds against online giants such as Google and Facebook to share more of their revenues with news outlets. Multiple French news publishers have accused Google of failing to hold negotiations in good faith to find a common ground, while Google claims that the fines did not consider their efforts to come to an agreement. French authorities now expect Google to submit proposals within the next two months on how they will compensate news agencies and other publishers for their content. Failure to comply will result in additional fines.

Working from home has many benefits, but the Wall Street Journal notes that people who work hybrid or remote may be at a disadvantage when it comes to earning promotions and raises. In a story from Monday, the WSJ explained that despite data demonstrating no discernable difference in productivity between at-home and in-office employees, managers consistently rated in-person employees as higher performers. The WSJ further shared that this news is particularly troubling given the considerable gender gap found in those that preferred to continue to work from home. Experts hope that companies will appreciate their employees equally and ensure that the pay gap does not happen.

And finally, a new study from The Mozilla Foundation has found that Youtube’s algorithm has been pushing disturbing and misleading content. The findings were derived from a study with more than 37,000 participants, each of whom had installed a browser extension that let them flag videos they deemed disturbing. Researchers then checked the flagged videos to determine if they violated Youtube’s Community Guidelines. The report noted that 71% of the reported videos were recommended by Youtube’s algorithm, and featured videos on a wide variety of disturbing topics like unfounded conspiracy theories. Youtube did eventually remove about 200 of the reported cases, though that number only accounts for about 9% of all the videos flagged. In a statement, a Youtube spokesperson disputed the findings of the study, explaining that the parameters for disturbing content were not clearly laid out, while also noting that Youtube’s public data showed that less than 1% of all recommended “borderline content” was ultimately consumed by users.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. Thanks for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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