Paranoid Benjamin Netanyahu Prepares For His Last Stand

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu propelled his Likud Party to victory over the centrist Zionist Union in national elections this week with a vehement rejection of a Palestinian state and warning of “buses full of Arabs” inundating polling places. He understands that most Jewish Israelis do not want to live beside an independent Palestinian state or next door to a Palestinian. He is one of them, after all, and he shares their sensibility. His last minute desperate appeal to racism was an Israeli application of Alabama Governor George C. Wallace’s political rule: “I will never be out-niggered again.”

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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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