What Is Your Vision of a Just and Climate-Stable 2050?

Last week, thousands of people came to Seattle — on foot and by kayak — and put their bodies on the line to say “Shell No” to arctic drilling. Like many climate activists who couldn’t be there in person, I watched the events unfold on Twitter on the edge of my seat. Seeing hundreds of people stand up to a 30-story arctic drilling rig in their tiny kayaks is enough to make a longtime activist think, maybe we’re not so screwed after all. The odds might still be stacked against us, but at least now we’re witnessing the rise of a mass movement determined to fight back. As one local organizer of the “Paddle in Seattle” recently said, “I’ve never seen anything like this. When the Kulluk [another Shell Arctic drilling rig] was here in 2012 there was nothing like this here.”

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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:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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