'US Person 2' in Russian Spy Case Is Revealed to Be Conservative Columnist George O’Neill

The Wall Street Journal has identified the contact known only as “US Person 2” in the charges against accused Russian spy Maria Butina as conservative columnist, and heir to the Rockefeller fortune, George O’Neill. The contact listed as “US Person 1” had already been identified as South Dakota conservative Paul Erickson. Between the two men, Butina had access to a broad range of Republican organizations, contributors, and power brokers across the country. And it appears that O’Neill worked with Butina in attempting to set up a back channel between Russia and the Republican Party.

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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:
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