Government of India
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
Unstarred Question No. 2754
Answered on 12th December 2019
Social Media Platforms Using Biased Algorithms
Will the Minister of ELECTRONICS AND INFROMATION TECHNOLOGY be please to state:
(a)Whether Government is aware that there is an increasing trend about social media platforms using biased algorithms to suppress, deny, amplify, not amplify certain conversations violating Article 19(1) of the Constitution that guarantees freedom of expression;
(b)If so, the details thereof;
(c)In what manner Government propose to hold algorithms of social media platforms accountable, considering the fact that use of automated decision systems such as machine learning and artificial intelligence is increasing everywhere; and
(d)Details of steps taken by Government to ensure a legal framework to check that algorithmic bias does not fetter freedom of expression on internet?
Minister of State for the Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology
(Shri Sanjay Dhotre)
(a)to (d) Social media platforms are intermediaries as defined in the Information Technology Act, 2000. The intermediaries have exemption from liability subject to certain conditions as specified in section 79 and the rules notified therein. They have to follow certain due diligence as prescribed in the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 notified under section 79 of the IT Act. Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) is presently looking to amend the said Rules and the proposed amendments intend to provide for automated decision making by intermediaries in certain cases.