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India grants a week's reprieve for social media platforms to combat deepfakes

Despite the seven-day extension, the government made it clear that there would be no relaxation in its approach. Companies failing to comply within the stipulated time frame may face stringent measures, including potential criminal action under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

By  CNBC - TV18Dec 5, 2023 3:16 PM
India grants a week's reprieve for social media platforms to combat deepfakes
Notably, not all social media companies have fully embraced the IT Rules concerning deepfakes. Sources reveal that only a subset of companies has implemented user alerts to warn against the use of deepfake content on their platforms. (Representative Image: Sara Kurfeß via Unsplash)

The government met with social media intermediaries on Tuesday to address the rising concern of deepfake content on their platforms. The platforms have been given a grace period of seven days to take concrete actions.

Government sources told CNBC-TV18 that the meeting emphasised the need for stricter adherence to Information Technology (IT) Rules, specifically focusing on the challenges posed by deepfake content. Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar reportedly flagged instances of only partial compliance by some social media companies with the existing IT Rules pertaining to deepfakes.

Despite the seven-day extension, the government made it clear that there would be no relaxation in its approach. Companies failing to comply within the stipulated time frame may face stringent measures, including potential criminal action under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The warning issued by the government indicates that the safe harbor protection, granted under Section 79 of the IT Act, is contingent upon full compliance with the regulations addressing deepfakes.

Government officials highlighted that hosting deepfake content could lead to prosecution under specific provisions of the Indian Penal Code. The authorities expressed concerns about the potential misuse of deepfake technology and highlighted the importance of swift and effective measures by social media companies to curb its spread.

Notably, not all social media companies have fully embraced the IT Rules concerning deepfakes. Sources reveal that only a subset of companies has implemented user alerts to warn against the use of deepfake content on their platforms. The government asserts that compliance with these rules is essential for social media companies to avail themselves of the safe harbor protection and avoid legal repercussions.

First Published on Dec 5, 2023 3:16 PM
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