HomeNewsIndia calls on political parties to avoid using deepfakes during election campaigns

India calls on political parties to avoid using deepfakes during election campaigns

The Election Commission of India has issued an advisory to all political parties, asking them to refrain from using deepfakes and other types of misinformation of their social media posts in the course of the ongoing general elections within the country. The move comes after the constitutional body was criticized for not doing enough to combat such campaigns on the earth's most populous country.

Advice, published on Monday (PDF) requires political parties to remove any fake audio or video files inside three hours of becoming aware of their existence. Parties are also advised to discover and warn those accountable for creating the manipulated content. The Election Commission's move follows a Delhi High Court order asking the body to make clear the matter after the problem was raised in a petition.

India, home to over 1.5 billion people, began general elections on April 19 and are scheduled to conclude on June 1. The election has already been marred by controversy over using deepfakes and misinformation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi complained late last month concerning the use of pretend voices to allegedly show leaders making statements that they had “never considered before,” claiming it was a part of a conspiracy geared toward stoking tensions within the to sow society.

Indian police have arrested at the very least six people from the social media teams of the Indian National Congress, the country's largest opposition party, for circulating a fake video through which Home Minister Amit Shah makes statements he claims he never made.

India has been grappling with the use and spread of deepfakes for several months. Ashwini Vaishnaw, India's IT minister, met with major social media corporations including Meta and Google in November and “got here to a consensus” that regulation was needed to curb the spread of deepfake videos in addition to apps that to facilitate their creation and to combat them higher.

Another IT minister in January warned tech corporations of tough penalties, including bans, in the event that they don't take energetic motion against deepfake videos. The country has yet to legally codify its draft regulation on deepfakes.

The Electoral Commission said on Monday it had “repeatedly” instructed political parties and their leaders to “maintain decorum and utmost restraint in public election campaigns.”


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