Mass shootings didn't dominate the weekend's news — but there were at least 9 of them in the US

Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1233210883. Two girls holding a banner with word guns strikethrough. Women holding sign that says not guns at a rally.

If a mass shooting is defined as an event where four or more people are shot, not counting the shooter, well, there were at least nine of those in the United States over the past weekend. At least 15 people died and 30 were wounded in those nine events, as Republicans continue to oppose even the most modest gun law reforms.

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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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