How Big Pharma and Dr. Drew Made a Fortune Deceiving America

By now you’ve likely heard that drug maker GlaxoSmithKline must shell out $3 billion for the fraudulent sale and marketing of drugs including the popular antidepressant Wellbutrin (also sold as the smoking cessation drug Zyban). In the Big Bertha of healthcare fraud settlements, the British pharmaceutical giant has admitted to playing fast and loose in its branding of Wellbutrin and marketing it for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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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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