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Deepfakes: Government to meet social media platforms in 3-4 days

Emphasizing that the safe harbour immunity clause will not apply without adequate action from platforms, Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw disclosed plans for a meeting within the next 3-4 days. The government had previously issued a notice on deepfakes, and while platforms responded, the minister stressed the need for more aggressive measures

Deepfakes Government to meet social media platforms in 3-4 days
First Published Nov 18, 2023, 8:57 PM IST

The Indian government is set to engage with social media platforms to address the deepfake issue, as announced by IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. Speaking to media persons, Vaishnaw emphasized that the safe harbour immunity clause would not apply to platforms unless they take sufficient measures to combat deepfakes. The government had recently issued a notice to companies regarding deepfakes, and although platforms responded, the minister expressed the need for more proactive efforts in addressing this content.

While acknowledging the steps taken by platforms so far, Vaishnaw stressed the necessity for additional measures. He disclosed plans for a forthcoming meeting with all platforms within the next 3-4 days to discuss and brainstorm solutions for preventing and eliminating deepfakes. When asked if major platforms like Meta and Google would be part of the meeting, the minister confirmed their inclusion.

Vaishnaw underscored that the safe harbour immunity, currently enjoyed by social media platforms under the IT Act, would not be applicable unless they take substantial action against deepfakes. The safe harbour clause grants immunity to platforms for content posted by users on their platforms. The recent proliferation of 'deepfake' videos targeting prominent actors has raised concerns about the misuse of technology to create fabricated content.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi echoed these concerns on Friday, cautioning that deepfakes generated by artificial intelligence could lead to significant crises and societal discontent. 

He urged the media to raise awareness about the misuse of deepfake technology and educate the public on the potential risks associated with it. The government's proactive stance and engagement with social media platforms aim to address these emerging challenges in the digital landscape. 

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