This week the ethical issues in public relations rain the gamut, but the core theme was fairness. Fairness in pay equity, fairness in AI decisioning, fairness in promotions, and fairness in accountability.
- Pay Transparency – This week PR Week reported on the New York law taking effect on Tuesday which requires companies to post salary ranges in job openings. This is something that is overdue. A few years ago, Massachusetts helped address systemic pay inequity against women by changing the way companies can ask about salary, now this broadens the effort. This also aligns with two elements of the PRSA Code of Ethics – transparency and fairness.
- Unfair advantages and disclosure – According to Decrypt, Art Gobblers, an Ethereum NFT project from “Rick & Morty” co-creator Justin Roiland, launched Monday and saw skyrocketing secondary sales. That is fine, but the ethical issue comes in with accusations that some NFT influencers that promoted it were provided free tokens and did not disclose. Last month Kim Kardashian was fined for lack of disclosure. While some ethics issues are grey, this one is black and white – if you can, or are, benefitting financially – disclose!
- Kyrie Irving and Fairness – I have so much I can say here, but the crux of the matter is unlike other NBA players and executives who have said unacceptable things recently, Kyrie Irving is not being held accountable for comments he made that are antisemitic. Another interesting angle for PR pros are the poor responses from the NBA and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai.
- Fairness in Artificial Intelligence – A Forbes article this week from Nicole Janssen looks at bias in AI. What really made this article jump out at me was some information I had missed previously. Specifically:
- In a survey by DataRobot, 36% of respondents reported that their organizations were negatively impacted by an occurrence of AI bias, with more than 60% reporting either lost revenue or lost customers.
- There is a new law that will ban employers in New York Cityfrom utilizing “automated employment decision tools to screen job candidates unless the technology has been subject to a ‘bias audit’.” The law will take effect on January 2, 2023 and could result in fines ranging between $500 to $1,500 for each violation. Lack of Fairness has consequences
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