Rashmika Mandanna’s Deepfake Goes Viral, Prompts IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s Warning For Social Media Platforms

Rashmika Mandanna is yet to react to the deepfake. (File)

New Delhi:

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar today reminded the social media platforms of their legal obligations to fight misinformation, acknowledging a viral deepfake video featuring actor Rashmika Mandanna. The video originally featured Zara Patel, a British-Indian influencer, but her face changes to that of the actor in the deepfake.

“PM @narendramodi ji’s Govt is committed to ensuring Safety and Trust of all Digital Nagriks using Internet,” Mr Chandrasekhar posted on X, formerly Twitter, and jotted down the legal obligations for the social media platforms under the IT rules.

Under the IT rules notified in April, 2023 – it is a legal obligation for platforms to ensure no misinformation is posted by any user and to remove that when reported by any user or government, he said.

If platforms do not comply with this, they can be taken to court by the aggrieved person under the provisions of Indian Penal Code, added the minister. “Deep fakes are latest and even more dangerous and damaging form of misinformation and needs to be dealt with by platforms,” said Mr Chandrasekhar.

Deepfakes are photos or videos altered to replace a person or an element using Artificial Intelligence. In recent days, they have become a major source of misinformation and are often associated with fake viral posts.

In the current case, Zara Patel – who has over 400,000 followers on Instagram – had last month shared the video that showed her entering a lift in a black outfit. The face soon changes to that of Ms Mandanna as she is seen entering the lift.

Rashmika Mandanna is yet to react to the deepfake.

Sharing the video, Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan highlighted the need for new legal measures. Ms Mandanna had made her Bollywood debut alongside BigB in the movie ‘Goodbye’.

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