Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Facial Recognition
June 16, 2020 12:13 AM - Season 7, Episode 15 - Subscribe

This week (again from the White Void): protests over the brutal police killing of George Floyd continue, Tucker Carlson gripes about puppets telling kids about racism, and Minneapolis votes to abolish their police department while New York criminalizes the use by police of chokeholds like the one that killed George Floyd. Statues of slave traders the world over have been toppled, wrecked or defaced, but police unions continue to angrily justify the status quo. (There's a lot of infuriating material in this section.) And Now: C-Span Callers Have Some Thoughts On The Coronavirus For The Second Most Patient Man On Television. Main Story is on the use of technology for facial recognition, and, ominously, its increased use by law enforcement, especially as provided by a company called Clearview AI. On YouTube (21m)

HBO Max: "The only ash-heap of history that costs fifteen dollars a month."

More info on "loser fish," a phenomenon among farmed salmon, is in this article on, which notes they're also called "drop outs," calls them "deadbeat fish," notes they're "sluggish, stunted and uninterested in food," and notes they have high levels of coritsol and levels of serotonin mirroring depressed mammals. Hang in there fish--capitalism harms us all.

The lady who works at Google who spoke out about the use of facial recognition software to target protesters at the Baltimore protests over the death of Freddie Gray in 2015 is probably the one who is interviewed here by the New York Times about the matter; it's well worth reading.
Here's a Sydney Morning Herald article about the hilariously ominous-sounding title of their facial recognition program, 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗖𝗔𝗣𝗔𝗕𝗜𝗟𝗜𝗧𝗬.

Here's a blog post about China's surveilance system called, seriously, Skynet.

The record against Clearview's founder, Hoan Ton-That: F.37: "Deletum Tweetum," J.K.ROWLING
posted by JHarris (4 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Hang in there fish, hang in there
posted by cynical pinnacle at 5:46 PM on June 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

I don't have anything to say other than to gush over how consistently good great John Oliver and his writing team are.

His growing collection of feuds with shitheads is legendary.

He covers serious stuff - sometimes horrific stuff - but most of the time he leaves me feeling at least a little less bad or a little bit amused and sometimes aware of something new. So, lots of appreciation for Oliver as an entertainer and an advocate; his advocacy lines up splendidly with my personal politics.
posted by porpoise at 6:35 PM on June 16, 2020 [4 favorites]

I love how HBO is funding him doing all kinds of expensive shit, not to mention the feuds.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:15 PM on June 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

I happened to see a van with a large logo reading "Clearview" painted on its side a few doors from my house on the morning after watching this episode. It turned out to be a company cleaning a nearby apartment block's windows, but it made me jump all the same.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:58 AM on June 18, 2020

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