Federal court upholds Florida's disgraceful poll tax weeks before the 2020 election

Sign supporting voting rights at the U.S. Capitol / Shutterstock

With the backing of five federal judges appointed by President Donald Trump, the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on Friday ruled that Florida can require state residents with past felony convictions to pay off all court fines and fees before they are allowed to register to vote—a mandate that has been condemned as a "modern-day poll tax."

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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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