7 Evil Things Uber Did in 2014 You Should Know Before Your Next Ride

While still popular with consumers, Uber’s questionable reputation dogs it, and deservedly so. This is a company that wears its hyper-aggression on its sleeve, regularly battling dissatisfied customers, governments, critics and competitors. Uber’s short history is defined by tales of misogyny, skullduggery and sketchy drivers. But the notoriety seems to have no effect on the company’s $41 billion bottom line. Not even the infamy of gouging customers in the wake of Hurricane Sandy slowed its rapid growth.

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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.

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