MeitY has directed social media platforms to update user terms and contracts, forbidding users from engaging in 11 types of content, including deepfakes
MoS Chandrasekhar said that the ministry will also develop a digital platform for users to report violations of IT Rules by social media platforms
MeitY will also soon appoint a Rule Seven officer to oversee the establishment of a mechanism for enabling end users to file their complaints regarding deepfakes
Cracking the whip on deepfakes, the union government has set a seven-day deadline for social media platforms to tweak their user ‘terms and contracts’ in line with the IT Rules. The updated account policy will forbid netizens from engaging in 11 types of content, including deepfakes, that harm users.
“Platforms have agreed that within the next 7 days, they will ensure that all terms and contracts with users expressly forbid them from engaging in the 11 types of content laid out in the IT Rules,” said Minister of State (MoS) for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Friday (November 24).
He said the ministry will also develop a digital platform for users to report violations of IT Rules by social media platforms.
In addition, MeitY has also conveyed to the intermediaries that it will soon appoint a Rule Seven officer to oversee the establishment of a mechanism for enabling end users to file their complaints regarding deepfakes.
“The Rule Seven officer will also be a person who will create a platform where it will be very easy for citizens to bring to the attention of the government of India their notices or allegations or reports of violation of law by the platforms… (The) Rule Seven officer will take that digital platform information and respond accordingly. So we’ll make it very simple for the citizens to report violations of law by platforms to the government…” he said as per Hindustan Times.
While putting the onus of providing a safe and trusted internet squarely on social media platforms, Chandrasekhar also affirmed the ‘collective commitment’ of social media platforms to curb deepfake challenges within the ambit of existing regulations.
Meanwhile, Chandrasekhar also reportedly said that the ministry will actively assist citizens in filing FIR against social media platforms for violating IT Rules. He also added that entities that post illegal content will also be liable for FIR if social media platforms disclose the identity of the source of origin of the fake content.
As per Reuters, the government warned social media firms including Facebook and YouTube to repeatedly remind users that deepfakes and fake content are prohibited under local laws.
This comes just a day after union IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the Centre plans to devise a framework within 10 days to combat the menace of deepfakes. Authorities are also mulling penalising persons that upload or create deepfakes.
The matter erupted into national headlines earlier last month after a deepfake video surfaced online that featured a person that looked like actor Rashmika Mandanna. While she took to social media platforms to slam the video, deepfakes of other celebs also went viral online.
Deepfakes use AI algorithms to create realistic yet fabricated videos. Such synthetic content has invited outrage across the country. Just this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged deepfakes as a threat and called for global regulation of AI to curb such fake content.
Even the Centre has directed the social media platforms to ensure all such content is removed within 36 hours.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has ramped up its probe into the Mandanna deepfake case and is said to be verifying vital clues received in the case through technical analysis. As part of this, officials are scanning through all the IP addresses from where the video was uploaded to ascertain where the video was first uploaded on the internet.