Rashmika Mandanna's deepfake video sparks government action: Centre sets 24-hour removal deadline

The centre has taken a serious look into Rashmika Mandanna's deepfake viral video.

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The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has issued advisories to major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, instructing them to promptly remove misleading content created using artificial intelligence, commonly known as deepfakes, within a 24-hour period.

This advisory comes in response to the recent viral circulation of a deepfake featuring actor Rashmika Mandanna on various social media platforms. In February of the same year, the ministry had previously issued a similar advisory to these platforms.

The recent deepfake of Rashmika Mandanna, currently circulating on platforms such as Instagram, involves her face being digitally altered in a video where a woman is depicted entering an elevator wearing revealing clothing. The original video was posted by a British-Indian social media influencer on Instagram last month.

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According to media reports, government sources have indicated that the advisory reiterates the existing legal provisions that online platforms must adhere to as intermediaries. The prevalence of deepfake technology is anticipated to pose greater challenges for women online, as online platforms are already a hostile environment for them. Deepfakes introduce new dimensions of harassment to which women may be subjected on the internet.

Specifically, it references Section 66D of the Information Technology Act, which imposes penalties for cheating through personation using computer resources, with potential imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.

Additionally, the advisory cites Rule 3(2)(b) of the Information Technology Rules, which requires social media platforms to remove content related to impersonation, including artificially manipulated images of individuals, within 24 hours of receiving a complaint.

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