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Govt to come up with regulations to tackle Deepfakes, penalty for creators, platforms: Ashwini Vaishnaw

The central government held a meeting with social media platforms regarding deepfakes menace, which has been raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many prominent celebrities, it has been decided that the government and social media platforms, which include Google, Facebook, YouTube, will bring out detailed guidelines on the detection, prevention and spread of such videos within ten days.

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The central government held a meeting with social media platforms regarding Deepfakes menace, which has been raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many prominent celebrities, it has been decided that the government and social media platforms, which include Google, Facebook, YouTube, will bring out detailed guidelines on the detection, prevention and spread of such videos within ten days.

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Deepfakes are not free speech but have emerged as a new threat to democracy today. And the government feels that there is a need to take immediate action against it. The central government will soon decide rules regarding this. Also, we feel that it is very important to increase awareness among people against this.

After the meeting with social media platforms, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnav informed in the press conference that we will make rules to deal with the challenges posed by deepfakes. We will also hold the next round of meetings with all social media platforms in the first week of December to implement the decisions taken today.

The civil servant-turned-politician said four key issues were discussed at the meeting: how deepfakes can be detected; whether and how people can be prevented from posting deepfakes and whether such content can be stopped from going viral; how a reporting mechanism can be implemented so users on any app or website can alert the platform and the authorities about a deepfake so that action can be taken; and increasing awareness among the public, for which he said the government, industry and the media will need to work together.

The IT Minister further said it was clear from the discussions that a new regulation is needed for such content. He said work on this will begin immediately and an attempt will be made to finish drafting the regulation in the next few weeks.

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He stressed on accountability that lie both with the creators of deepfakes and the platforms hosting them. He said the regulations could be introduced in the form of new rules, a new law or an amendment to existing rules.

What is Deepfakes?
It is hyper-realistic digital falsification and the new photoshopping tool for today’s time, which uses artificial intelligence called ‘deep learning’. It creates fake images based on the events and transforms the existing source content by swapping the face of the person.

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