Anti-vaxxers are turning to Yelp for help targeting restaurants that are asking for proof of vaccination; Big tech is the target of another antitrust bill in the U.S., and experts share tips for managing remote teams.

It’s all the biz/tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Friday, June 11 and I’m your host Alex Coop.

Anti-vaxxers are weaponizing Yelp to punish bars that require vaccine proof from technology

In an attempt to shame restaurants for doing their best to reopen safely as first and second vaccine doses are administered worldwide, anti-vaxxers have turned to Yelp to spam them with negative reviews. And these spam one-star reviews can be damaging. The default mode for viewing reviews is in chronological order, from newest to oldest, which means a spam attack places fake reviews up top, making the most recent reviews that much more influential if you’re the victim of a concerted campaign. Fake reviews can often be easy to spot, but when enough of them pile up, it can impact an overall rating that is much more visible to users. Review spamming, certainly not a new phenomenon, was also used in a similar fashion to target restaurants for mask enforcement over the past year.

A year later, tech companies’ calls to regulate facial recognition met with little progress from technology

It was roughly a year ago when Microsoft, Amazon and IBM said they were halting the sale of facial recognition software to law enforcement in the US. But now the question is being asked – what’s happened since then? CNBC’s latest reporting on the subject highlighted how Congress hasn’t passed any laws regulating police use of the technology. There are plenty of other software firms willing to step in to fill the gap in big tech’s absence, and even other products under big tech’s enormous product umbrella that fulfill similar surveillance-based functions. Amazon’s smart home security subsidiary, Ring, has faced intense scrutiny from privacy advocates over its rapidly expanding work with police, and so has Microsoft for its work developing Domain Awareness System in partnership with the New York Police Department. According to the department’s website, the system is billed as a “crime-fighting and counterterrorism tool” that uses “the largest networks of cameras, license plate readers and radiological sensors in the world.” 

And lastly, ResetWork, an independent online publication, recently saw one of its latest articles on effective remote work management start a conversation on LinkedIn. As we begin to navigate work post-pandemic, some will be cast into a new hybrid (partial office, partial remote) setup. Remote work for many is here to stay. Reset Work, in a talk with leadership experts, reveals the following actionable tips which we think are applicable for entry-level workers or vice-presidents:

  • When coaching someone, do it live by video or phone. 
  • “Lunch and learn” sessions, where colleagues share stuff they’re working on, can be good team- and trust-building activities.
  • You can never have enough transparency. 
  • Consider focusing on RAMP, or relationships, accountability, motivation, and processes.

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