In a key meeting on the issue of deepfakes, which has been flagged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several celebrities, it has been decided that the government will bring in regulation at the earliest and attempts will be made to have a draft ready within a few weeks.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting with social media platforms and companies working on artificial intelligence tools on Thursday, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said deepfakes have emerged as a new threat to democracy and accountability for such content will lie both with creators and the platforms on which it has been hosted.
The minister said four key issues were discussed at the meeting: how deepfakes can be detected; whether and how people can be prevented from posting deepfakes and whether such content can be stopped from going viral; how a reporting mechanism can be implemented so users on any app or website can alert the platform and the authorities about a deepfake so that action can be taken; and increasing awareness among the public, for which he said the government, industry and the media will need to work together.
Mr Vaishnaw said it was clear from the discussions that a new regulation is needed for such content. He said work on this will begin immediately and an attempt will be made to finish drafting the regulation in the next few weeks.
He asserted that accountability will lie both with the creators of deepfakes and the platforms hosting them. He said the regulations could be introduced in the form of new rules, a new law or an amendment to existing rules.