Mark Meadows pushed DOJ to investigate 'Italygate' and other 'fantastical' election conspiracy theories: report

When former President Donald Trump was pushing the Big Lie and making false claims of widespread voter fraud following the 2020 election, outgoing White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was more than happy to encourage him. And according to reporting by the New York Times' Katie Benner, Meadows wanted the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate outlandish election conspiracy theories — including the ludicrous "Italygate."

Benner describes Italygate as "a fantastical theory that people in Italy had used military technology and satellites to remotely tamper with voting machines in the United States and switch votes for Mr. Trump to votes for Joseph R. Biden, Jr." Italy, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is a long-time U.S. ally.

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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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