A critic of the Russian government sought asylum in the US — and was treated shamefully under Trump

President Donald J. Trump welcomes President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin as he arrives to attend their bilateral meeting during the G20 Japan Summit Friday, June 28, 2019, in Osaka, Japan. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Gregory Duralev has been seeking asylum in the United States since 2016 after exposing corruption in Russia’s economy. It’s no exaggeration to say that this could be a matter of life or death, when critics of the Russian government continue to die “mysteriously.” But Politico’s Natasha Bertrand reports Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has sought to deport Duralev to exactly that—and even as he’s been allowed to legally remain in the U.S. while his asylum claim plays out.

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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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