Here's Why the Rod Rosenstein 25th Amendment Leak Was More Than Just a Plot to Destroy the Deputy AG

Last Friday the New York Times published a bombshell story reporting that in May of 2017 Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested that he and people interviewing for the job of FBI director should "wear a wire" to record the utterances of President Trump. He allegedly discussed rounding up members of the Cabinet to see if they were willing to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Rosenstein immediately denied this, also saying that he does not believe the president is subject to the 25th Amendment. Some sources in the Justice Department have subsequently said that Rosenstein was just being sarcastic about the wire.

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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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