Conservatives Rail About Free Speech on College Campuses - But This Is the Real Threat to Our First Amendment

It's a sign of the idiocy of Donald Trump-era politics that hundreds of thousands of words have been spent pushing what amounts to a hoax about "campus censorship," while genuine assaults on free speech -- especially by Trump himself, just don't attract the same amount of attention. But while the New York Times prefers to lavish attention on conservatives whose feelings are easily bruised might get, there are activists fighting genuine threats to free speech and pushing back against censorship that's far more serious than having someone scold you that racist thing you said.

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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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