December 15, 2019, 22:18

Twitter, Facebook Invite Indian Parliamentarian’s Wrath for ‘Shadow Bans’ Using Algorithms

Twitter, Facebook Invite Indian Parliamentarian’s Wrath for ‘Shadow Bans’ Using Algorithms

New Delhi (Sputnik): An Indian parliamentarian, while proposing an “Algorithmic Accountability Bill” to target and hold responsible digital intermediaries, has accused the US social media platforms Twitter and Facebook of showing bias.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said algorithms used by social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have been curtailing article 19 (1) of the Indian Constitution which guarantees freedom of speech and expression with ‘reasonable restrictions’ and those restrictions are not being made public by any of the social media platforms as they are based on algorithms.

Chandrasekhar, an industrialist-turned-parliamentarian, has urged the government to create a legal and organisational framework to check the biases against the Algorithmic Accountability Bill, that has been proposed in the US Senate.

“More and more citizens are moving to social media and having conversations on social media. There are trends in social media that make the use of algorithms to suppress, deny, amplify and not amplify certain conversations,” Chandrasekhar said while adding that “every time an individual raises concerns with the social media platforms, they hide behind the use of algorithms.”

Last year, some US lawmakers including President Donald Trump accused Twitter of being partial, after noticing that their Tweets no longer appeared in search results, and their content was being hidden. Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, later admitted to US lawmakers that the company’s algorithms have not always been “impartial.”

An Indian parliamentary panel also summoned Twitter’s Chief Executive Dorsey, after right-wing politicians including some ruling BJP party members, alleged that the company had lowered their visibility, ahead of the country’s general elections.


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