Trump tweets COVID-19 conspiracy video so outrageous it was banned from Facebook and Twitter

Image via Screengrab.

Hydroxychloroquine is back. Not back in the sense of being a coronavirus treatment that is in any way recommended—it is definitely not—but back in right-wing media and on Donald Trump’s mind. The subject exploded on Monday when video of a Houston doctor insisting that hydroxychloroquine works and masks are unnecessary went hugely viral, backed by Breitbart News and Trump and Don Jr. In the hours before Facebook took the video down, it got more than 13 million views and seemingly kicked off a new string of tweets from Trump promoting the malaria drug, including repeated retweets of things then removed by Twitter.

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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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