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Need body to regulate big tech firms: Sushil Modi

🔴 Questioning Facebook’s content moderation policy, Modi cited the example of West Bengal, where, he said, the company found that “over 40 per cent of top views… were fake and unauthentic”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
December 14, 2021 9:04:44 pm
Speaking during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, the former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister also said traditional media companies are not paid sufficiently despite their journalistic content being used by big tech platforms. (PTI/File)

BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Modi Tuesday accused Facebook of “undermining the safety” of Indian users by not flagging misinformation and hate speech, and urged the Centre to form an independent regulatory body for big tech companies.

Speaking during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, the former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister also said traditional media companies are not paid sufficiently despite their journalistic content being used by big tech platforms.

“To ensure this, following an EU directive, countries like France, Germany and Australia have already legislated neighbouring rights in which platforms like Google are made to pay traditional media outlets for use of their content,” Modi said.

The Indian Express had recently reported that the combined ad revenues of Facebook and Google is higher than the combined ad revenues of the top 10 listed traditional media companies in India, a fact that found mention in Modi’s intervention.

Questioning Facebook’s content moderation policy, Modi cited the example of West Bengal, where, he said, the company found that “over 40 per cent of top views… were fake and unauthentic”.

Modi said Facebook spends “just 13 per cent of its budget to flag content in markets outside the United States”, and even less budget gets allocated to India, where the company “lacks the capacity to flag Hindi and Bengali content.”

He also referred to the recent hacking of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter account for a brief duration during which a tweet on Bitcoin was made. The BJP MP claimed that the account was “hacked by a crypto lobby group”.

“India must form an independent regulatory body that ensures a legislative framework which shall oversee the activities of these big tech companies and also ensures that these platforms dedicate proper budgetary allocation towards content moderation and revenue sharing with traditional media,” Modi said.

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