DOJ abruptly drops 'personal revenge' lawsuit against former Melania Trump aide

First Lady Melania Trump walks along the Colonnade of the White House Wednesday, June 24, 2020, en route to the Oval Office. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

The U.S Dept. of Justice has dropped a lawsuit against a former adviser and friend of Melania Trump. The Trump-era DOJ's lawsuit against Stephanie Winston Wolkoff was seen by many as frivolous and vengeful.

Wolkoff had recorded conversations between her and the now-former First Lady, and released some of them to the media last year.

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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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