Welcome to The L@B Report
Welcome to this month’s issue of The L@B Report from GSG, bringing you news and insights from the intersection of digital media and public affairs. In this issue, we discuss misinformation and the Israel-Hamas War, a major announcement from Gmail, and a collective bargaining agreement in the political sector governing the use of AI in the workplace.
In the News
Big Tech Scrambles to Fight Misinformation Amid Israel-Hamas War
But social media isn’t alone in the spread of mis- and disinformation
Shortly after the Israel-Hamas War broke out, Axios reported on how big tech companies that began scaling back content moderation ahead of the 2024 election are scrambling to implement content moderation and new rules amid the Israel-Hamas War.
Meta announced that it has created a “special operations center” staffed with experts who are fluent in Hebrew and Arabic. Twitter/X CEO Linda Yaccarino issued a letter to the EU, detailing the site’s efforts to tackle war-related disinformation. YouTube said the site has removed “tens of thousands of harmful videos and terminated hundreds of channels.” TikTok says it will add more content moderators who speak Arabic and Hebrew and will place misinformation warnings for users searching for certain keywords.
The Israel-Hamas battlefield extends beyond Gaza and Israel as each side also fights to win online. The level of mis- and disinformation is startlingly high. CBS News told Axios that the network sifted through more than 1,000 videos of the Israel-Hamas war and found that only 10% were usable or factual.
While social media can sometimes be vital in times of crisis – giving the world access to real-time information from an event – the amount of fake news on digital platforms also shows the pitfalls and dangers associated with trying to report in real-time, especially when unverified claims bubble up to the mainstream media.
For more information on how to better spot misinformation, check out this article from NPR. Within the article, NPR also shares a link to the News Literacy Project, which has additional resources to help people test and strengthen their media literacy skills.
Gmail Announces New Requirements for all Bulk Senders
Have an email marketing list? This news will have a major impact on your deliverability
In early October, Gmail announced on their blog that they will be enforcing new requirements for all bulk senders who send more than 5,000 messages to Gmail or Google Workspace addresses in one day. The new requirements are an attempt to reduce spam in users’ inboxes and go into effect on February 1, 2024.
The new requirements from Gmail are likely to have a huge impact on political email, which has already experienced challenges with a drop in fundraising, as well as non-profits, advocacy groups and trade associations, or really any organization with an email list of more than 5,000 subscribers. Email marketing programs that fail to meet the new requirements will likely have their emails go directly to the spam folder of Gmail or Google Workspace email subscribers.
If your organization runs an email marketing list, we highly recommend reading the full announcement on Gmail’s blog and forwarding it to your email marketing and information technology teams. Some of the requirements include setting up SPF and DKIM email authentication for your sending domain; setting up DMARC email authentication and a DMARC policy; enabling one-click unsubscribes; and keeping user-reported spam rates below 0.3%.
Authentic Union Reaches Tentative Agreement on AI Usage in the Workplace
While Congress debates AI regulation, unions forge a path forward
The Authentic Unit of the Campaign Workers’ Guild announced via Twitter/X that they have reached a tentative agreement on AI usage in the workplace. Authentic is a Democratic digital agency and this marks the first time a political-industry-aligned union workforce has reached an agreement with management governing AI.
Authentic’s agreement comes after management at the firm rolled out Quiller, a third-party generative AI tool that can assist with the writing and coding of political fundraising and advocacy emails. According to the union, while some workers expressed excitement about the AI’s “ability to improve productivity” there was “widespread concern that it could eliminate the need for skilled digital strategists.”
In last month’s L@B Report, we noted that the agreement struck between Hollywood writers and studios, which set historic new AI labor rules, could be a bellwether for regulating the use of AI in the creative sector. The Authentic agreement could be a similar bellwether for knowledge workers as it makes “an explicit commitment that AI technology will only be used to assist workers’ responsibilities, not to eliminate or replace current or future human workers.”
As AI regulation at the federal level remains stalled in the halls of Congress, unions aren’t waiting to see what happens – they are creating paths forward that are worth monitoring.
More From GSG
WATCH: GSG’s Newest Video
Earlier this year, we asked GSG’s award-winning team a simple question: what does it take to win? Check out our brand-new company video, which explores our team’s passion for their work and features some of the people that make GSG so special.
Watch our new video now!
LISTEN: New Episode of STAFFER with Mike Harney
If you work in government right now – be sure to listen to our latest episode of the STAFFER podcast with Mike Harney. After a long career on Capitol Hill, at the White House, and in the Administration, Harney has a trove of stories and advice on advancing your principles through your work. He talks about it all with the host and GSG Partner Jim Papa.
This issue of the L@B Report was put together by Ryan Alexander.
Follow us on Instagram for more updates!
Want to receive each month’s L@B Report in your inbox? Subscribe here.