‘Why would you want to be that selfish?’ Arkansas anti-masker hospitalized with COVID-19 expresses regret on stance

Image via Screengrab / ABC News.

While some individuals are still dismissing expert recommendations to wear face coverings or masks in public, others are sharing stories of regret. As cases of the novel coronavirus increase in the U.S., anti-maskers nationwide are changing their stances as they experience symptoms of the pandemic. By sharing their stories, individuals who once denied the severity of the virus hope they can emphasize the importance of following safety guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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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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