‘Social media platforms to ensure safe internet, no deepfakes’: Union minister

After the deepfake video of actress Rashmika Mandanna went viral, sounds of alarm were raised in India about the dangers of morphed AI generated videos. In view of these dangers, the central government conducted a meeting with social media platforms active in India.

Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar issues important advisory over deepfakes to social media platforms (AP)

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the Centre conducted a meeting with all social media platforms on November 24, where the current law over deepfakes and the spread of these videos on social media was discussed.

The union minister said that social media platforms were told that internet safety and prevention of circulation of deepfakes is their responsibility, and they have to regulate their content according to the Indian law.

While speaking to PTI, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “One November 24, we had a detailed meeting with all of the (social media) platforms where it was made clear to them that the onus and responsibility to ensure that the internet is safe and there are no deepfakes – under the current law – is the responsibility of the platforms, and we will take all the necessary steps, including removing the safe harbor and enabling the prosecution of platforms if they don’t do enough to take out deepfakes.”

The government had also previously said that they will assign a special officer to investigate the deepfake menace on social media and online platforms, tasked with assisting citizens in filing FIRs regarding fake content online.

Rashmika Mandanna deepfake saga

The debate regarding deepfakes on social media kicked off when a fake video of Rashmika Mandanna surfaced online where she was seen walking inside an elevator wearing a skintight black outfit.

The video sparked a wave of outrage from the entertainment industry, prompting the authorities to step in and search for the culprit of the deepfake video. Since then, central agencies have flagged online platforms to contain the deepfake menace.

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