The RNC has spent nearly $1 million making Sean Hannity's book a bestseller

Photo via Gage Skidmore.

The Republican National Committee continues to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for copies of the latest book by Fox News personality Sean Hannity, which was published in August These efforts have helped boost the book up bestseller lists, according to recent Federal Election Commission filings.

This week the RNC reported $492,308 in expenditures on "donor mementos" at book retailers, all of it spent on Sept. 16. Salon has confirmed that at least $159,000 of that amount went for bulk retail purchases of Hannity's book, "Live Free or Die," which have been offered to GOP donors who gave $75 or more.

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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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