Rapper MIA denied entry to U.S.

According to Asians in Media magazine, the popular Sri Lankan-born, London-based rapper MIA has been "denied a visa to visit or work" in America by immigration officials. Lame, but not so surprising, really, given the current political climate. No one knows why, exactly, the musician is being denied entry -- best guess is her sometimes-controversial lyrics, like those for the song "Sunshowers," which allegedly "express vague support for the terrorist organisation LTTE." (Some sample lyrics: "it's a bomb yo/so run yo/put away your stupid gun yo /'cos we see through like a protocol call/ that's why we blow it up 'fore we go…")

…Or maybe it's because of her father, who -- as MIA's stated in interviews -- retains ties to Sri Lankan politics (I thought he was some sort of rebel fighter, but my internet is acting up so I'm unable to confirm that right now).

You can read MIA's grammatically questionable, but rather funny account of being kept out of the USA on her Myspace blog:

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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