In a significant move, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued a stern ultimatum to social media platforms, granting them a mere seven days to align their terms of service and policies with Indian laws. The directive aims to combat the rising threat of deepfakes proliferating on these platforms.
Addressing the Deepfake Dilemma: MeitY Takes Action
The announcement, made on November 24, comes in the wake of discussions led by the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Deepfakes, which involve the use of artificial intelligence to create realistic yet manipulated content, have raised concerns about misinformation and privacy breaches.
Rule 3(1)(b): A Crucial Compliance Measure
Chandrasekhar highlighted the significance of Rule 3(1)(b) under the current IT Rules, mandating the removal of specific content categories within 24 hours of receiving user complaints. Deepfake content falls under this purview, and platforms failing to comply may face consequences. Chandrasekhar emphasized the government’s commitment to taking stringent actions against violations of the IT Rules.
Assistance for Users: Filing FIRs Against Deepfakes
In a proactive measure, MeitY has pledged assistance to users in filing First Information Reports (FIRs) related to deepfakes. According to Rule 7, a designated officer will oversee the establishment of a system for users to register complaints about deepfake content. MeitY is poised to extend support to affected users navigating the legal process of filing FIRs in response to incidents involving deepfakes.
Government’s Ongoing Regulatory Measures
Building on this announcement, Minister of Electronics and IT, Ashwini Vaishnaw, declared on November 23 that the government is set to initiate the development of regulations specifically targeting deepfakes. The decision follows a collaborative meeting with representatives from various social media platforms, reflecting the government’s commitment to addressing the challenges posed by the misuse of artificial intelligence in disseminating false information.