The world of social media was recently shaken by a controversy involving deepfake videos of popular Indian actors, Rashmika Mandanna and Katrina Kaif. These incidents have raised serious concerns about the misuse of artificial intelligence (AI) in creating misleading content, prompting India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to take action.
IT Ministry’s Response to Deepfakes
In response to the controversy, MeitY issued advisories to major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The advisory mandates these platforms to remove any AI-generated fake content within 24 hours. This move underscores the government’s commitment to combating the spread of misleading information online.
The advisory also reiterated the existing legal provisions under the Information Technology Act, 2000. It includes penalties for cheating by personation using computer resources, which could lead to imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.
The Deepfake Phenomenon
Deepfakes are a product of AI algorithms and deep learning models, which can manipulate existing video footage or generate entirely synthetic content. They can superimpose one person’s face onto another’s body, making individuals appear to say things they never uttered, or even create entirely fictional scenarios that look entirely real.
The Impact on Celebrities and Public Figures
The recent deepfake incidents involving Rashmika Mandanna and Katrina Kaif have highlighted the potential harm this technology can cause. After Mandanna strongly reacted against her deepfake video, a new morphed picture of actress Katrina Kaif from ‘Tiger 3’ started circulating on social media. These incidents underscore the urgent need for stringent measures to address the misuse of deepfake technology.
The Way Forward
As deepfakes become increasingly sophisticated, it’s crucial for social media platforms, governments, and individuals to stay vigilant. The IT Ministry’s advisory is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done. Awareness, education, and stringent laws are key to tackling this growing menace.