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Deep fakes

  • Published
    8th Nov, 2023

What are Deep Fakes:

  • Deepfakes constitute fake content — often in the form of videos but also other media formats such as pictures or audio — created using powerful artificial intelligence tools.
  • Simply, it is an amalgamation of the words “deep learning” and “fake” and it means fabricated videos generated from existing face-swapping techniques and technology.
  • They are called deepfakes because they use deep learning technology, a branch of machine learning that applies neural net simulation to massive data sets, to create fake content.
  • It employs a branch of artificial intelligence where if a computer is fed enough data, it can generate fakes which behave much like a real person.
  • The origin of the worddeepfake” can be traced back to 2017 when a Reddit user, with the username “deepfakes”, posted explicit videos of celebrities.

Government Response:

  • The government on 07 November 2023 made it clear to social media firms like X, Facebook, Instagram, etc that pending a new Digital India Act, they should take down content related to deep fakes and similar misinformation from their platforms even in the absence of a formal complaint, under the provisions of Information Technology Act.
  • The Union Minister for Electronics & Technology, said on the social media platform X that deep fakes are the latest and a “more dangerous and damaging form of misinformation” that need to be dealt with by social media platforms. He also cited the legal obligations of social media platforms and IT rules pertaining to digital deception.

Laws in India to deal with such Deep Fake cases:

  • Provisions under IT Act, 2000: It also warned the firms concerned that failure on their part to act under the provisions, will attract punishment under Section 66D of the IT Act, 2000, which involves punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resources and imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.
  • The Information Technology Rules: The advisory is also understood to have mentioned Rule 3(2)(b) of the Information Technology Rules, under which social media platforms are required to take down content in the nature of impersonation, including artificially morphed images of an individual, within 24 hours of the receipt of a complaint.

Way Forward:

  • In February 2023 , the IT ministry issued advisories to the chief compliance officers of various social media platforms after it received reports regarding the potential use of AI-generated deepfakes that were manipulating people by generating doctored content.
  • The Centre is also looking to invoke a controversial law that would require WhatsApp to share details about the first originator of a message on account of rising AI-led misinformation on the messaging platform.
  • The basis for this is multiple deepfake videos of politicians circulating on WhatsApp, and the government is understood to be in the process of sending an order to the messaging company under the Information Technology (IT) Rules, 2021, seeking the identity of the people who first shared the videos on the platform.
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