Govt cracks down on deepfakes after viral Rashmika Mandanna fake video

In response to a viral deepfake video featuring popular actor Rashmika Mandanna, the Indian government has taken action by issuing a stern reminder to social media platforms, highlighting the legal provisions governing such deepfakes and the associated penalties.

This development has raised significant concerns about the use of Artificial Intelligence for disinformation.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has invoked Section 66D of the Information Technology Act, 2000, which pertains to ‘punishment for cheating by personation by using a computer resource.’

The section stipulates that anyone found guilty of cheating through personation using communication devices or computer resources may face imprisonment for up to three years and a fine of up to one lakh rupees.

The need for this advisory arose following the circulation of a deepfake video that falsely depicted Rashmika Mandanna entering an elevator. Subsequently, it was revealed that the video actually featured British-Indian influencer Zara Patel, whose face had been manipulated using deepfake technology to resemble Mandanna.