'Frontline: United States of Conspiracy' shows how Alex Jones conquered the truth

Photo via Alex Jones.

It is more likely that you know an Alex Jones true believer in 2020 than might have been the case in 2016. The really scary part is, that person might not even consider him or herself a Jones fan despite believing in a lie, or several, that Jones is responsible for hurling into the larger public sphere.But thanks to Jones and people like him, large portions of the public refuse to believe in basic facts. They will, however, believe him and the people who parrot his lies and illogic, including our country's current president and his political enablers. A Pew Research Center survey conducted from March 10-16, 2020, backs this up: nearly 30% of Americans believe the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was created in a lab.

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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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