Rush Limbaugh, who has died of lung cancer, was bombastic, influential — and often engulfed in controversy

Far-right talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has died of lung cancer at the age of 70. Limbaugh's wife, Kathryn Limbaugh, made the announcement on his radio show on February 17.

On February 3, 2020 — the day before then-President Donald Trump gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom — Limbaugh announced on his radio show that he was suffering from advanced lung cancer but would continue to host his program. A former cigarette smoker, Limbaugh spent years denying that cigarettes were harmful — and he smoked cigars as well.

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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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