Deep Fake Controversy: Government acts tough, asks social media companies to remove such content within 36 hours of reporting

Deep fakes are a major violation and harm women in particular: Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar

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Deep Fake Controversy: GoI acts tough, asks social media companies to remove such content within 36 hours of reporting

New Delhi, Deep Fake Controversy: Amid the rise of deep fake videos of various Indian celebrities in recently, the Government of India has issued an advisory to all social media intermediaries to identify misinformation and deep fakes and remove such content within 36 hours of reporting.

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Recently, a deep fake video of an Indian actress Rasmika Mandana went viral on social media. This led to many prominent media personalities including veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan, Mrunal Thakur, Naga Chaitanya, and singer Chinmayi Sripada voicing support for the actress. 

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Zooming inappropriately on body parts

The actors urged people not to be silent spectators as morphed videos of female actors float around on the internet zooming inappropriately on body parts.

After Rashmika Mandana, a deep fake picture of Bollywood Actress Katrina Kaif from her upcoming movie Tiger 3 also went viral. In this morphed picture, the actress could be seen wearing a low-cut white top and a matching bottom instead of a towel.

Government of India

Acting tough on the recent media reports on deep fake videos and pictures, the Government of India has told social media any failure to act as per the relevant provisions of the IT Act and Rules would attract Rule 7 of the IT Rules, 2021 and could render the organization liable to losing the protection available under Section 79(1) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

“Safety and trust of our Digital Nagriks is our unwavering commitment and a top priority for the Narendra Modi Government. Given the significant challenges posed by misinformation and deep fakes, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has issued a second advisory within the last six months, calling upon online platforms to take decisive actions against the spread of deep fakes,” said Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Electronics & IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

Children and Women who are Targeted

He expressed that deep fakes are a major violation and harm women in particular. “Our Government takes the responsibility of safety & trust of all citizens very very seriously, and more so about our children and women who are targeted by such content,” he added. 

Elaborating further Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “It is a legal obligation for online platforms to prevent the spread of misinformation by any user under the Information Technology (IT) rules, 2021. They are further mandated to remove such content within 36 hours upon receiving a report from either a user or government authority.

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Failure to comply with this requirement invokes Rule 7, which empowers aggrieved individuals to take platforms to court under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). It is imperative that platforms take proactive measures to combat this threat.”

“For those who find themselves impacted by deepfakes, I strongly encourage you to file First Information Reports (FIRs) at your nearest police station and avail the remedies provided under the Information Technology (IT) rules, 2021,” told the Union Minister. 

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