Hate speech: GoI seeks details of Facebook algorithms

Centre seeks details of algorithm, processes used by Facebook amid hate speech allegations

The government has also asked Facebook to provide details of steps taken to safeguard users

India enforced new IT intermediary rules earlier this year, aiming to bring greater accountability for big tech companies. Credit: Reuters File Photo

With Facebook embroiled in a fresh row over its alleged failure to check the spread of fake news and hate speech, the Centre has sought an explanation from the social media giant about its algorithms to manage content.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has sent a letter to Facebook India’s Managing Director Ajit Mohan seeking details of the algorithms and processes used by the company to moderate content on its platform.

Also read: Facebook wrestles with features it used to define social networking

Based on the company reply, the IT Ministry may take further steps including an investigation into the issue. "If required, the government may summon the company executives to seek explanation," said an official in the IT Ministry.

The US-based social media giant landed in a row after Frances Haugen, a former employee-turned-whistleblower, provided thousands of internal documents showing how the company's systems can fuel hate speech and fake news. The whistleblower claimed that Facebook chose profit over user safety.

Also read: Five key takeaways from the leaked Facebook documents

With over 40 crore users, India is the biggest market for Facebook.

(With PTI inputs)

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