China's Arrest of Activists Investigating Ivanka Trump-Linked Factory Unprecedented

China is refusing to release three activists who were arrested while they were investigating labor conditions at a factory manufacturing Ivanka Trump brand shoes. The three men were working with the New York-based nonprofit China Labor Watch. The arrests came just weeks after Ivanka Trump secured three new exclusive trademarks in China. China accuses the investigators of interfering with the operation of the factory. China Labor Watch denies the allegations and says this is the first time in nearly two decades of its existence that any of its investigators have been detained. Amnesty International has joined in demanding the release of the trio. To talk more about what this means, we are joined in Washington, D.C., by Kevin Slaten, who was program coordinator for China Labor Watch until last year.

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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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