The Gun Lobby’s New Tactic: Redefining 'School Shootings' So They Don’t Count

The drumbeat of news about gun violence in the United States is so steady and rhythmic these days that it’s starting to fade into the background. Another week, another school shooting. One of the biggest risks now is of a population-wide numbness, eroding the will to tackle the crisis. So perhaps we should be grimly grateful whenever the gun lobby demonstrates that it retains the power to horrify.

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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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