Indian marriage site under fire in United Kingdom for caste-based parties

LONDON: India's leading marriage site has been criticized in the United Kingdom for allegedly reinforcing caste-based discrimination with an option for Programming to be out of algorithms.

The website, which is United Kingdom 's largest marriage site catering to the Indian community, has been accused of allowing discrimination against the community, and raised questions about whether its algorithms are consistent with the country's equality law.

According to a report published in The Sunday Times, a profile created for a higher caste person was not offered lower caste matches unless they adjusted their preferences to include all other castes.

While Shaadi.com has denied caste-based bias because its “community” setting is not discriminatory, a barrister has warned that there might be a potential breach of the United Kingdom 's Equality Act.

“Restricting matches by caste could be contravening the Equality Act. By forcing users to state their caste, the sites are either discriminating themselves, or knowingly aiding discrimination by users,” Chris Milsom, a barrister who led the first successful charge of caste discrimination in the United Kingdom in 2015, told the newspaper.

Caste discrimination is outlawed in India. In the United Kingdom , the prevents discrimination on the grounds of race and other protected characteristics, with caste considered an aspect of race.

Santosh Dass, chair of the Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance, which has been lobbying for a standalone anti-caste law in the United Kingdom , said, “Using algorithms to segregate and favour certain users on the grounds of caste is outrageous — you would never do the same with race. I am shocked.”

However, Shaadi.com said that its community question works as an important proxy for determining lifestyle adaptation, but that it does not eliminate any community from user preferences.

“There is no bias incorporated into the system that reduces the visibility of a particular community. We are not violating any act since the platform does not discriminate [based on] [the] community or race and provides equal opportunities to all, regardless of race and community, ”a spokesman for the marriage site told the newspaper.

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