Takedown of deep fakes: The Government to Social Media Companies

By Consultants Review Team Wednesday, 08 November 2023

The government made it clear to social media companies such as X, Facebook, and Instagram on Tuesday that, in the absence of a formal complaint, they should remove content related to deep fakes and similar misinformation from their platforms under the provisions of the Information Technology Act.

It also warned the firms concerned that failure to comply with the provisions would result in punishment under Section 66D of the IT Act, 2000, which includes imprisonment for up to three years and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh for cheating by personation using computer resources. "A law dealing with emerging technologies cannot be enacted overnight." "Our existing laws provide adequate protection to deal with issues such as deep fakes," a government official said.  

The setting for releasing the warning and emphasizing the principles of law that require action even in the absence of a formal complaint by the offended person is a profound fake video of actress Rashmika Mandanna that has circulated on social media sites. Though the actor has not filed an official complaint with the authorities, several important individuals have pointed out that the video is an impersonation, which the actor has confirmed on the channels involved.  

According to Meity, social media platforms must remove misleading content within 36 hours of receiving a notification from either a user or a government authority under the IT Act's intermediary duties. Failure to meet this condition results in Rule 7, which empowers angry users to sue platforms under Indian Penal Code (IPC) provisions. As a result, the online platforms may lose their safe harbour status under Section 79(1) of the Information Technology Act of 2000.

"Deep fakes are a major violation that primarily harms women." "Our government takes the safety and trust of all nagriks very seriously, especially our children and women who are targeted by such content," Rajeev Chandrasekhar, state minister for electronics and information technology, stated.

"For those who find themselves impacted by deep fakes, I strongly encourage you to file First Information Reports (FIRs) at your nearest police station and avail the remedies provided under the Information Technology (IT) rules, 2021," the minister stated in a press release.

Currently, India lacks a defined regulatory framework for AI. The government is developing a Digital India Bill to address the difficulties brought by evolving technology through the lens of user damage. While conceding that the provisions of the IT Act can be utilized to combat deep fakes and other AI-related crimes, experts have urged the government and industry to work together to address such concerns.


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