The 'lost' political party: New report reveals why thousands are fleeing the GOP

Donald Trump with crowd // Credit: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The Republican Party is reportedly facing an exodus as thousands of America are dropping the political party affiliation from their voter registration. Back in January, The New York Times released a report highlight the alarmingly high number of voters who opted to change their registration. Now, the publication has published another editorial explaining why.

Since the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, more than 200,000 voters across several states have left the Republican Party. While shifts are normal after elections, the publication noted how distinctly different this one is.

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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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