The 5 stories PR pros need to know on Friday morning, 3.25.2016

Netflix acknowledges slowing down video speeds; NBA speaks out about controversial North Carolina law; WSJ pledges to fix pay gap; Bayer appoints Preuss as new comms leader; What went wrong with Microsoft's AI bot.

It was us slowing down video speeds
After AT&T and Verizon took the blame for slow Netflix video speeds, the Silicon Valley-based company said it was reducing the quality of streaming content to discourage users from exceeding their data caps. The company acknowledged it puts a ceiling on speeds at a much lower rate than what’s allowed by data plans.

Anti-LGBT protection law in North Carolina irks NBA
The NBA hinted it is reconsidering holding the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte over a North Carolina law passed this week prohibiting municipalities from passing their own anti-discrimination measures. The league said it is "deeply concerned" about the "discriminatory" law. PayPal, Dow Chemical, and Google have also spoken out against it.


WSJ pledges to fix pay gap
After a study showed a significant pay gap between white men and women and people of color at The Wall Street Journal, the newspaper’s parent company, Dow Jones, pledged to fix the problem. Dow Jones CEO Will Lewis called the data "troubling," and WSJ editor Gerard Baker sent a memo to staff on Thursday saying he is "personally committed" to evening the playing field.

Bayer appoints Preuss as comms leader
Herbert Heitmann has stepped down from the top communications position at Bayer. The pharmaceuticals company replaced him with Michael Preuss, former corporate communications head, who will step into the role on May 1. Preuss will report to chairman Werner Baumann.

What went wrong with Microsoft’s AI chatbot?
Microsoft failed to build in safeguards to the AI chatbot named Tay that was released this week, unknowingly allowing the bot to be turned into a hate-spewing white supremacist. "The more you chat with Tay, the smarter she gets," Microsoft said on an FAQ page about the bot published when it was released.

What to know on Friday:
Mark Zuckerberg posts #LeanInTogether message for fathers. Pro-dad-bod underwear campaign gets Internet buzzing. Judge gives Volkswagen another month to come up with emissions "defeat device" fix plan. More than 1 million Verizon business customers may have had information hacked. Reuters: How Takata quietly fixed an airbag crisis in 2009. 

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