This Right-Wing Conspiracist Was Actually Just Invited on MSNBC to Discuss the Dangers of Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories

Right-wing conspiracy theories appear to be the source of two of the most recent horrifying high-profile attacks in the United States this week. First, a series of bombs was sent to multiple Democratic figures and CNN, allegedly by a man who promoted delusional and conspiratoral beliefs about these individuals. And second, on Satuday, a mass shooting killed 11 people and injured several more at a Pittsburgh synagogue, and it was allegedly carried out by a a man who believed anti-Semitic consiracy theories about immigration.

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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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