In a digital age marked by technological advancements, legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has issued a caution against the rising menace of deepfake videos, urging the public to be vigilant and report instances of misuse. Tendulkar’s warning comes in the wake of a deepfake video featuring his likeness that went viral, promoting an online gaming app.
Deepfake technology, powered by artificial intelligence, manipulates audio and video content to create realistic-looking portrayals of individuals saying or doing things they never did. The deceptive video of Tendulkar showcased him endorsing an online gaming app, falsely claiming it as an easy method to make money.
Expressing his concern, Tendulkar took to social media to denounce the deepfake video. “These videos are fake. It is disturbing to see rampant misuse of technology. Requesting everyone to report videos, ads, and apps like these in large numbers,” he asserted.
Tendulkar’s case is not isolated, as several prominent figures in India have fallen victim to deepfake videos. Recently, Infosys chief Narayana Murthy and journalist Ravish Kumar were targeted in similar deceptive campaigns, endorsing products and services they had not endorsed in reality.
Responding to Tendulkar’s caution, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, announced that the government would soon implement stricter rules under the Information Technology Act to combat the proliferation of deepfakes on social media platforms. Chandrasekhar emphasized the threat posed by deepfakes, stating that they undermine the safety and trust of Indian users.
The government’s stance on deepfakes gained momentum with the issuance of an advisory to social media platforms, urging compliance with the Information Technology Rules. The advisory highlighted the growing concerns around misinformation fueled by AI-deepfakes and emphasized the need for platforms to take proactive measures in tackling this issue.
Chandrasekhar reiterated that deepfakes and AI-driven misinformation pose a serious threat to free and fair elections. In a tweet, he declared that platforms must prevent and take down deepfakes promptly to avoid legal consequences.
On November 18, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology and Communications, Ashwini Vaishnaw, had previously warned social media platforms that the safe harbor immunity clause under the Information Technology Act would not apply if they failed to address the issue of deepfakes promptly.
As the Indian government takes a firm stance against deepfake misuse, it remains to be seen how the proposed regulations will be implemented and whether they will effectively curb the spread of deceptive content on digital platforms.
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