Matt Gaetz associate pleads guilty in sex trafficking case — and says others participated in the crime

Joel Greenberg, a long-time associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor and other federal crimes and agreed to cooperate with U.S. Department of Justice investigators — which, according to New York Times reporter Michael S. Schmidt, makes the former Seminole County, Florida tax collector "a potential key witness" if Gaetz is charged with any crimes.

The DOJ has been investigating allegations that Gaetz was sexually involved with a 17-year-old girl — an allegation that the far-right Republican congressman, a passionate supporter of former President Donald Trump, has flatly denied. Gaetz has even fundraised off the investigation, claiming that he is being persecuted by "the Deep State" for standing up for Trump's agenda. In one of his fundraising e-mails, Gaetz sounded very Trump-like when he wrote, "I will not back down from the Fake News hacks that want to destroy me and America-First patriots like you. I am more determined than ever to shut down this HOAX, and I am glad to have President Trump on my side."

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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.

What you can do:
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