Deepfake video of actress Rashmika Mandanna's sparks outrage; authority issues warning

The actress strongly reacted to the fake video and said it was 'extremely scary' how technology is being misused


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Photo: Instagram/Rashmika Mandanna
Photo: Instagram/Rashmika Mandanna

Published: Tue 7 Nov 2023, 3:24 PM

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has issued an advisory to social media companies after a viral deepfake video, said to be of actor Rashmika Mandanna, has sparked concern over the use of Artificial Intelligence to spread disinformation.

According to a sources, the advisory reiterated the existing rules including 66D of the Information Technology Act, 2000: Punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resources: imprisonment of up to 3 years and a fine of up to Rs100,000.

"IT Intermediary Rules: Rule 3(1)(b)(vii): Social media intermediary shall observe due diligence including ensuring the rules and regulations, privacy policy or user agreement of the intermediary inform users not to host any content that impersonates another person," sources said.

"Rule 3(2)(b): Intermediary shall, within 24 hours from the receipt of a complaint in relation to any content ... in the nature of impersonation in an electronic form, including artificially morphed images of such individual, take all .. measures to remove or disable access to such content," it added.

The government's advisory comes amid shock and concern over a viral video that appeared to show Rashmika entering an elevator. Soon after the clip started trending, it was found that it was actually a video of British-Indian influencer Zara Patel. The visuals were doctored using deepfake technology.

The actress on Monday strongly reacted to the alleged video. The 'Pushpa: The Rise' actor took to Instagram Story and shared a note that read, "I feel really hurt to share this and have to talk about the deep fake video of me being spread online. Something like this is honestly, extremely scary not only for me but also for each one of us who today is vulnerable to so much harm because of how technology is being misused.

"Today, as a woman and as an actor, I am thankful for my family, friends and well-wishers who are my protection and support system. But if this happened to me when I was in school or college, I genuinely can't imagine how could I ever tackle this. We need to address this as a community and with urgency before more of us are affected by such identity theft."


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