India to finally evaluate social media algorithms with the Digital India Act

By Kajoli Anand Puri | Published 07 Dec 2022 13:38 IST
HIGHLIGHTS
  • The government is working on the Digital India Act, a proposal that will allow them to monitor how social media algorithms work.

  • Social media is used to create echo chambers and promote specific lines of thinking.

  • There is no indication when the Act will come into effect, if passed.

India to finally evaluate social media algorithms with the Digital India Act
India to finally evaluate social media algorithms with the Digital India Act

Social media algorithms have always been a great mystery, with many wondering how they are utilised to shape an entire generation. Celebrities like Andrew Schulz, Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson, and others have famously talked about how Tiktok’s algorithm for China rewards ‘useful’ content, such as videos on engineering and skill sharing. The short video app rewards twerking and silliness everywhere else. In light of that, India’s determination to evaluate how these algorithms work spells great news.

The government is reportedly working on a proposal that will hold social media platforms more accountable for the content they are showing users, based on profile and browsing history. The proposal is known as Digital India Act (DIA) and will include language that ensures platforms like the metaverse, AI-governed apps, and those that use advanced quantum computing do not slip through the cracks. This will make India a part of a handful of countries that want to take a closer look at how social media algorithms are used. 

“The idea is to prevent misuse of Indian citizens’ data. Even if the data is stored in India, it can be misused by highly advanced algorithms. That must be prevented,” said a government official about the same.

What will the DIA disallow?

The DIA will allegedly have mandates that can regulate the way different tech giants process the data they collect. The idea is to prevent these companies from identifying individuals from an anonymous dataset and then pushing specific content onto them. Social media companies will also have to be more transparent about the processes they use to collect data.

“We are not going to overload the DIA with too many legal regulations. Instead, it will be an umbrella framework with space for executive rules which can be updated as required with time,” officials said.

 

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Kajoli Anand Puri
Kajoli Anand Puri

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About Me: Kajoli is a tech-enthusiast with a soft-spot for smart kitchen and home appliances. She loves exploring gadgets and gizmos that are designed to make life simpler, but also secretly fears a world run by AI. Oh wait, we’re already there. Read More