Had About Enough of the Media-Obsessed Charlie Sheen Meltdown?

The nation is gripped by Charlie Sheen's meltdown, no question -- countless internet memes, late-night talk show segments, and even a Taiwanese animation have been devoted to the story. At first, many of us may have been mildly amused by the jokes. But as Sheen-mania started to eat up more and more of the media's attention (it's not like it's been a slow news week!), and more details of Sheen's fall from grace emerged, it all stopped being so funny.

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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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