Govt Will Hold Social Media Firms Like Meta, Google Responsible For Deepfakes As Elections Get Closer: Report

Ahead of the general election, the Narendra Modi government is reportedly taking a firm stance against deepfakes on social media, warning tech titans that they will be accountable for their dissemination on their platforms.

What Happened: Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, emphasised the need for stringent compliance with explicit rules to combat the spread of AI-generated deepfakes, the Financial Times reported.

India, with its 87 crore internet and 60 crore social media users, is particularly vulnerable to AI-generated deepfakes. The government’s proactive approach is driven by the potential impact of disinformation campaigns, especially from external sources, on its democratic processes.

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The Modi administration had previously issued a directive to firms like YouTube, X, WhatsApp, Telegram, Snap and local social network Koo to clamp down on deepfakes after a spate of celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar and Rashmika Mandanna fell victim to the issue.

Social media platforms like Meta, X and TikTok have already established guidelines to address deepfakes, either by removing or labeling such content. Additionally, Meta and Google require political ads to disclose digital alterations.

India’s advisory to major social media platforms demands adherence to laws against illegal content. The 2021 IT rules prohibit harmful content to children, threats to national security, and the spread of misinformation. Platforms are warned against hosting deepfakes that could mislead or impersonate, with a legal obligation to remove such content.

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