How the Right-Wing Indian Government Is Silencing Dissent

"If I were to describe Islam in three words, there is nothing there besides sex, crime and murder. So the question for you is not whether Rohingya will stay here or the Musulman will leave here…. Now, what’s the question is that everyone is being brought here [The banner in the back reads: Drive Out Rohingya Save India Protest].… Thank Modiji for saving Gujarat in 2002, otherwise we would have been surrounded from all sides. So, the question is only this, that you will have to repeat Gujarat 2002, there is only one solution, there is no other solution…. Are you ready for that thing?…. Look, our ancestors fought for us…. to keep us Hindu…. Can we say the same about us? That we can to do the same for the coming generation, or not?" —Man addressing a crowd at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Oct. 7, 2017

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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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