'An embarrassment': Critics slam Tim Scott for defending Trump's white supremacy debate blunder

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)

Screenshot NBC News Broadcast

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is caught in the middle of a massive Twitter storm after his attempt to defend President Donald Trump's failure to denounce white supremacy during his first presidential rally ahead of the 2020 election.

In the aftermath of Trump's turbulent debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, the American public was left reeling over the stark takeaways from the political clash. However, the biggest controversy centers on Trump avoiding the calls to disavow white supremacy. Instead of doing so, Trump offered a loaded statement to the Proud Boys saying, "stand back and stand by."

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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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