Can reality finally defeat the Trumpian reality TV delusion?

President Donald J. Trump talks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House Wednesday, June 26, 2019, prior to boarding Marine One to begin his trip to Japan. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Republicans and Democrats; conservatives and liberals; Trumpists and progressives — technically, they live on the same plane of existence, but in very different realities.

They do not consume the same news media. They do not go to the same schools. They do not live in the same communities. They rarely encounter one another in meaningful ways in person. They do not pray or worship together. They live in the same country but not the same nation. They do not share the same values. They do not communicate with one another in meaningful ways. They do not speak the same political language.

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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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