Trump will stop at nothing to win — and he's putting our system to the test

President Donald J. Trump exits the South Portico of the White House Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, prior to boarding Marine One en route to Joint Base Andrews, Md. to begin his trip to Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

As President Trump jetted to 17 rallies mostly at regional airports in swing states in his sprint to Election Day, he has campaigned as he has governed. Trump reeled off countless untruths about every topic—perhaps most importantly, about voting and counting votes this November.

At a rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where 437,000 voters had requested absentee ballots and nearly 80 percent have been returned as of November 2, and the rest could arrive in the mail as late as Friday and still be counted if postmarked by Election Day, Trump smeared the Democratic-led city government. "Are they going to mysteriously find more ballots" after polls close, he said. "Strange things have been known to happen, especially in Philadelphia."

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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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