Centre issues 7-day ultimatum to social media platforms to combat deepfakes

Centre issues 7-day ultimatum to social media platforms to combat deepfakes

Hummingbird News Desk

NEW DELHI, 24 NOV: In a decisive move, the Indian government has issued a seven-day deadline to major social media platforms to align their policies with Indian regulations and tackle the escalating issue of deepfakes circulating on their platforms. The directive comes as part of the government’s efforts to curb the spread of misinformation and potential harm caused by deepfake technology.

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Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, emphasized the urgency of addressing the deepfake menace under the existing IT Rules. Specifically, Rule 3(1)(b) mandates the removal of 12 identified types of content within 24 hours of receiving user complaints. Chandrasekhar warned that deepfakes could be subject to immediate action under these rules, with a commitment to enforcing 100 percent compliance in the future.

“Social media platforms are further mandated to remove such content within 24 hours upon receiving a report from either a user or government authority. Failure to comply with this requirement invokes Rule 7, empowering aggrieved individuals to take platforms to court under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” stated Minister Chandrasekhar.

To address the challenges posed by deepfakes, the Indian government is contemplating additional regulations. Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw revealed plans to draft new rules aimed at identifying and restricting the spread of deepfake content. After discussions with representatives from major social media platforms and other stakeholders, Vaishnaw highlighted the consensus that deepfakes do not constitute free speech and underscored the necessity for regulations to safeguard democracy.

“The social media companies share our concerns and they understand that deepfakes are not free speech. They understand the need for regulation for this, and we will start drafting the regulation,” affirmed Minister Vaishnaw. He stressed the urgency of taking decisive steps to strengthen trust in society and protect democracy from the potentially harmful impact of deepfakes.

In an effort to empower affected individuals, Minister Chandrasekhar urged those impacted by deepfakes to file First Information Reports (FIRs) at their nearest police stations. Additionally, the IT Ministry has pledged assistance to aggrieved users in filing FIRs related to deepfakes.

The government’s proactive stance on deepfake regulation is set to continue, with Minister Vaishnaw scheduled to reconvene with social media companies next month. The forthcoming regulations are expected to not only address the identification and limitation of deepfakes but also focus on enhancing reporting mechanisms for individuals to promptly report such content, facilitating proactive actions by social media platforms.

Tags: #Centre #Deepfakes #SocialMedia #IT

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