New regulation to tackle deepfakes soon; Vaishnaw meets social media platforms | India News


IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Thursday termed deepfakes as a new threat to democracy and said that the government will soon come up with new regulations to tackle them.

After meeting social media platforms on the deepfake issue, Vaishnaw said that companies have agreed on the need for clear actionable work in areas such as detection, prevention, strengthening of reporting mechanism, and raising user awareness.

“We will start drafting the regulation today itself, and within a short time we will have a new set of regulations for deepfakes … this could be in the form of amending existing framework or bringing new rules, or new law,” Vaishnaw told reporters.

“We will have our next meeting in the first week of December…that will be on follow-up action on today’s decisions, and also on what should be included in the draft regulation,” Vaishnaw said.

Deepfakes are synthetic or doctored media that is digitally manipulated and altered to convincingly misrepresent or impersonate someone, using a form of artificial intelligence.

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Several ‘deepfake’ videos targeting leading actors have gone viral on social media platforms in the recent past, sparking public outrage and raising concerns over the misuse of technology for creating fake narratives.

Advertisements and sponsored posts on social media have been found to contain deepfakes of people like Shahrukh Khan, Virat Kohli and Akshay Kumar. While Shah Rukh Khan is seen in a deepfake video for a game called Aviator, Virat Kohli’s deepfake is in a video promoting a betting game.

Recently, a controversy erupted after a video of actor Rashmika Mandanna entering an elevator went viral on social media. The original video featured a British Indian person, and their face was morphed to insert Mandanna’s face instead.

Earlier this month, MeitY had sent advisories to social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, to take down deepfakes. It had mentioned Section 66D of the Information Technology Act, which entails punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resources with imprisonment of up to three years and a fine up to Rs 1 lakh.


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