India to probe Facebook algorithm following whistleblower’s allegations
Category: #headlines  | By Mateen Dalal  | Date: 2021-10-29 |
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India to probe Facebook algorithm following whistleblower’s allegations

Social media platform Facebook is once again under scrutiny in India, after documents made public by whistleblower Frances Haugen showed alleged discrepancies in algorithmic recommendations. The Government of India began the investigation due to allegations that Facebook’s algorithms can promote hate speech as well as fake news.

According to sources, the government was startled by the results of the ‘India experiment’, where a fake user’s feed overflowed with fake news and hate speech within just three weeks of creating a new account on the platform.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has reportedly sent a letter to Ajit Mohan, the Managing Director of Facebook India, seeking details about the company’s content moderation policies for its platform.

Moreover, the ministry has also asked for information on methods employed to prevent harm caused by such content to its online users.

Notably, industry bodies, legal experts, and stakeholders in India have been lobbying for stricter regulations and a thorough investigation into the allegations.

The Alliance for Digital India Foundation stated that in absence of a concrete data protection law if organizations & individuals wish to challenge instances of hate speech, privacy violation, or fake news, the only method of seeking recourse is to file a written petition. However, the intermediary status of social media platforms can pose a challenge to this.

Incidentally, Facebook holds the intermediary status under the new IT Rules, which confers special protection to the social media giant, and might make it immune to such probes.

In this context, legal experts believe that the new IT Rules, which are still in an early stage, still have sufficient mechanisms for regulating how social media sites should operate in India and the transparency measures that need to be put in place.

The Indian government is expected to conduct further investigations into Facebook’s algorithm, based on the company’s response to the ministry’s letter. It might also require Facebook executives to come in and explain the working of its algorithm.

Source Links –

https://www.businessinsider.in/tech/news/india-starts-probe-into-facebooks-algorithm-seeks-info-on-moderation-process/articleshow/87326285.cms

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Mateen Dalal     twitter

Mateen Dalal

A qualified electronics and telecommunication engineer, Mateen Dalal embarked on his professional journey working as a quality and test engineer. Harnessing his passion for content creation however, Mateen pens down industry-rich articles for ReportsGO.com and a few o...

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