Centre gives 7-day deadline to social media platforms to address deepfakes

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The government will also take action of 100 per cent of such violations under the IT Rules in the future.

The Centre on Friday gave a seven-day deadline to social media platforms to tweak their policies as per Indian regulations in order to address the spread of deepfakes on their platforms.

Deepfakes could be subject to action under the current IT Rules, particularly Rule 3(1)(b), which mandates the removal of 12 types of content within 24 hours of receiving user complaints, said Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

The government will also take action of 100 per cent of such violations under the IT Rules in the future.

“They 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, which empowers aggrieved individuals to take platforms to court under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” the minister said.

“For those who find themselves impacted by deepfakes, I strongly encourage you to file First Information Reports (FIRs) at your nearest police station,” said Chandrasekhar, adding that the IT Ministry will help aggrieved users in filing FIRs in relation to deepfakes.

India is mulling regulation to tame the spread of deepfakes and other user harm that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can bring along, Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Thursday.

After meeting representatives from large social media platforms and other stakeholders, the Minister said India will draft new rules to spot and limit the spread of deepfakes. The new regulation will also strengthen the reporting process for such deepfake videos for people.

“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,” said Vaishnaw.

“We need urgent steps to strengthen trust in society and to protect our democracy from deepfakes,” Vaishnaw added.

The Minister is expected to meet social media companies again on this burning topic next month. The new regulation will also focus on strengthening the reporting mechanisms for individuals to report such videos, and for proactive and timely actions by social media companies, said Vaishnaw.

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