Roskomnadzor Warns of Risks with Recommendatory Services

FSUE “Main Radio Frequency Center” (GRCHC), subordinate to Roskomnadzor, warns about the risks of developing recommendation services. They can lead to political polarization of society, promoting fake news and a rhetoric of hatred, follows from an analytical certificate prepared by the organization.

“Legislative regulation of recommendation services is necessary to protect consumers from opaque algorithms of content selection that can distort the real state of affairs and lead to frightening consequences up to real harm to the health and human psyche,” the document says.

The work of recommendation services is based on artificial intelligence technology, “therefore it can be safely argued that AI is a key component of popular social networks,” the note says. AI “often gives preference to controversial, inciting enmity and inaccurate information, since it is precisely such content that attracts more attention of users and leads to an increase in involvement and interaction with the platform.” As a result, social networks can provoke political polarization and promote misinformation, the compilers of notes believe.

, as an example, the authors of the document give data from the USA: 64% of all new subscribers of extremist groups on Facebook (belongs to META, recognized as extremist and prohibited in Russia) came through recommendations. The search results monitoring system, which was used by Republicans for analytics of recommendations on the network on the eve of the US presidential election in 2020, is also mentioned. According to these data, the researchers noted a significant bias in the results of the Google search in favor of the Democrats.

Examples from the work of Russian recommendation services in the GRCC in the note do not cite.

Another risk of disseminating recommendation services of the GRCHC considers that they give the user the information that is similar to what he looked earlier. This leads to the emergence of the Echo-camera effect when the user loses recommendations with an alternative point of view.

GRCHC proposes to introduce an audit of algorithms, a message for the user with an explanation about the work of algorithms, as well as the ability to give and recall consent to the processing of personal data.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.