Journalist Patrice O'Neill Wins Danny Award for Tireless Fight Against Hate Crime

A fresh burst of hate incidents and crimes was reported in the days following Donald Trump's election last year, fueled by inflamed passions roused by his campaign, with its “dog whistle” calls to bigots, newly empowered “Alt-Right,” and racist, xenophobic media arm summoning supremacists to “Make America White Again.” Not surprisingly, given the Islamophobia and antisemitism prevalent among many Trump supporters, bias crimes against Muslims and Jews – as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people -- accounted for much of the reported rise. 

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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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