After Cecil Outrage, U.S. Provides Endangered Species Act Protections for African Lions

In a move sure to be jarring to the worldwide trophy hunting industry, and that could gut South Africa’s canned hunting industry, the United States signaled that it will classify the African lion as threatened or endangered across its entire range in Africa. This action comes four and a half years after several organizations, including The HSUS, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Born Free, petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to list the African lion as endangered – long before Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer came to personify the threat that globe-trotting trophy hunters pose to the animals.

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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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