Why It's Delusional to Think a Campaign for a Constitutional Amendment Can End Citizens United

The three-plus-year push for a constitutional amendment on money and politics, leading to a bill sponsored by Senator Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, ended with a predictable thud in the Senate Thursday morning when 54 senators, including all Democrats, voted for it, and all 42 Republicans voted against it. Since two-thirds of the Senate is necessary to pass an amendment, and no Republicans indicated any interest, it never had a chance. 

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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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