Labor's Surprisingly Great Year: 5 Victories For Workers So Far In 2015

In the interest of fairness, let's begin with the bad news. Overall, union membership is still tracking down at roughly 11.1% (though private sector unions did tick up briefly in 2014), anti-labor practices are still widespread, Scott Walker’s scorched earth union busting in Wisconsin is still hurting millions, and inequality continues to grow unabated. But Labor day is a day of celebration and some serious victories have been achieved in both the court of public opinion and law. Here are some highlights:

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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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