IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw labeled deepfakes as a fresh menace to democracy on Thursday (23 November), announcing that the government will soon introduce new rules to address this issue, PTI reported.
The minister, after a meeting with social media platforms about the deepfake issue, stated that the companies have concurred on the necessity for concrete measures in areas such as detection, prevention, enhancement of the reporting system, and increasing user awareness.
The meeting saw participation of all social media platforms and companies with AI tools, Nassscom and experts in the field of artificial intelligence.
"Beginning today, we will commence the drafting of regulations pertaining to deepfakes. In due course, a fresh set of rules will be established. These might be introduced as amendments to the current framework, as entirely new regulations, or even as a new law," Vaishnaw informed the press.
"Our subsequent gathering is slated for the initial week of December, where we will discuss the progress on the decisions made today, as well as the contents of the draft regulation," stated Vaishnaw.
He added that creators of deepfake videos and platforms hosting them would be penalised.
Vaishnaw stated that the central government plans to present concrete measures within the next 10 days to address the issue, focusing on four key pillars: identifying deepfakes, curbing the dissemination of such content, enhancing reporting systems, and raising awareness about the issue.
Deepfakes are essentially synthetic or manipulated media that are digitally altered with the aid of artificial intelligence to convincingly misrepresent or mimic an individual.
Lately, numerous 'deepfake' videos featuring prominent actors became widely circulated, inciting public indignation and leading to worries about the abuse of technology and instruments for producing manipulated content and false narratives.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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