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India to Draft Regulations Against Deepfake Content Amid Rising Concerns

India to Draft Regulations Against Deepfake Content Amid Rising Concerns

India’s government is looking forward to drafting regulations to address the growing concerns around such AI-generated media. IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced this development following a series of meetings with major social media companies, industry body Nasscom, and academics.

The minister emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, “Deepfakes can spread significantly more rapidly without any checks and they are getting virals within minutes of their uploading. That’s why we need to take some very urgent steps to strengthen trust in the society and to protect our democracy.” This statement underscores the gravity of the issue, especially after recent incidents involving prominent Indian figures being misrepresented in deepfake videos.

Deepfakes, created using sophisticated AI to realistically alter a person’s appearance or voice, have raised significant ethical concerns, particularly regarding misinformation and consent. The Indian government’s initiative follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expression of concerns about deepfake videos last week, highlighting the potential threats to trust in society and democratic institutions.

The regulations will aim to establish clear guidelines for detecting and limiting the spread of such content. The ministry plans to introduce actionable items within 10 days, focusing on detection, prevention, reporting mechanisms, and spreading awareness. Vaishnaw also mentioned the possibility of imposing monetary fines and holding individuals accountable for creating deepfake videos.

The discussions with social media giants like Google and Meta are expected to continue, with a follow-up meeting scheduled for early December. The companies have reportedly agreed on the necessity for stricter regulation, recognizing the harm deepfakes can pose to society.

This move by the Indian government signals a proactive stance in regulating emerging technologies and their impact on society. The regulations aim not only to curb the spread of deepfake content but also to maintain the integrity of digital media and protect democratic values.

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