‘Never has American politics sunk so low’: US viewed as a country in serious decline

President Donald J. Trump joins G7 Leaders Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte; European Council President Donald Tusk; Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and G7 Summit host French President Emmanuel Macron during a G7 Working Session on Global Economy, Foreign Policy and Security Affairs at the Centre de Congrés Bellevue Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, in Biarritz, France. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Americans weren't the only ones who watched the United States' chaotic presidential debate on Tuesday night, September 29. President Donald Trump's ranting during the debate has been a topic of discussion all over the world, and a question that many of the United States' democratic allies — from France to Australia to Japan — have been asking is: what is happening to the U.S.?

The fact that the United States' image is suffering so badly during the Trump era is the theme of articles for the BBC and Financial Times. While the BBC's report examines the reaction that other democracies have had to the September 29 presidential debate, journalist Edward Luce's piece (which is headlined "America's Bleeding Democratic Image") warns that other countries fear the U.S. is facing a "constitutional crisis."

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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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