Russian media outlets push false claims about who's to blame for the Capitol riot

Meaghan Ellis

It's no secret that President Donald Trump's angry supporters were seen storming the U.S. Capitol but the president's Kremlin-controlled Russian state broadcasts are still circulating lies the series of events that erupted on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6. According to Russian media, members of Antifa were seen storming the Capitol—not Trump supporters.

According to The Daily Beast, Russian media outlets claimed "the pro-Trump insurrectionists were merely "peaceful demonstrators" and blamed "Antifa" for the violence that took place in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021."

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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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