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BJP MP raises in RS issue of alleged misbehaviour with woman journalist

ANI  |  General News 

BJP MP Bhupender Yadav on Wednesday raised the issue of alleged misbehaviour with a woman journalist of a private news channel and urged the Chair to refer the matter to the Ethics Committee of Parliament.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha, Yadav said if a woman is misbehaved with and employees are not paid, it was the responsibility of the MPs to protect the freedom of speech.

"We don't want to interfere in the affairs of any private organisation but it is the duty of the parliamentarians to protect Article 19. Sub-Section D of Rule 290 is related to questions on ethics. You have the right to send to Ethics Committee any matter related to ethics if any member was suppressing the voice of the media," said Yadav.

He urged Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to refer the matter to the Ethics Committee.

BJP's Rajeev Chandrasekhar had earlier tried to raise the issue, but the Chairman didn't allow this after the Congress members objected, saying it was a matter of conflict of interest.

"He can't raise the issue as he himself is the owner of a news channel," said Congress' Jairam Ramesh.

Naidu then ruled that Chandrasekhar should confine himself to the topic for which he had given the Zero Hour notice.

He then demanded to bring a law to ensure that freedom of expression of the people is not curtailed.

Chandrasekhar said that social media platforms amplify and suppress certain views using their complicated algorithm and technology. This curtails freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by Article 19 in the Constitution.

"Article 19 (1) of the Constitution protects the freedom of expression of all citizens of this country. More and more of our citizens are moving to social media and having conversations on social media. There is a trend in social media now about the use of algorithms to suppress, deny, amplify or not amplify certain conversations," he said.

He said artificial intelligence is increasing everywhere and, in this background, drew the attention of the House that an "Algorithmic Accountability Bill" has been proposed in the US Senate.

"The algorithms are designed and developed by humans and are not immune from human bias. There is a need for a legal and organisational framework as the technology is running far ahead of our laws and our ability to regulate," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 17 2019. 18:27 IST
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