Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India’s Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), stated that if users are offended by obscene material such as deepfakes, the government will help them file a formal complaint against social media companies for breaking IT regulations. To discuss this matter, a meeting was called with a few of the most important digital platforms or intermediaries in India. The Union Minister added that social media companies have seven days to update their terms of service in accordance with IT regulations. In addition, he stated that the Center would shortly appoint an officer to combat the threat.
#WATCH | On Deep fake issue, MoS Electronics & Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar says, "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… pic.twitter.com/AHiATR6DD4
— ANI (@ANI) November 24, 2023
Cracking the whip on deepfakes
In an effort to crack down on deepfakes, the union government has given social media companies seven days to modify their user agreements. This is so they comply with IT regulations. The amended account policy prohibits users from participating in 11 categories of content. These include deepfakes, that cause harm to other users. Meity is going to create a platform where people can report social media platforms that are breaking IT rules. Additionally, Chandrasekhar stated that going ahead, 100% of IT rule violations will result in government action.
Meity extends its assistance to file a formal complaint
Meity will assist in filing a formal complaint against harmful content. A case will be brought against the person who posted the content if they assist in identifying its source. The Minister announced that India will create new regulations to identify and stop the spread of deepfakes following meetings with officials from major social media companies and other interested parties. Additionally, the new rule will make it easier for individuals to report these kinds of deepfake videos.
Rules concerning deepfakes
Deepfakes and other unsettling content ought to be taken down within 36 hours of being reported. Intermediaries are required by law to stop the spread of false information. Producing and disseminating deepfakes carries a fine of INR one lakh and a three-year jail sentence.
Here’s what they said
Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said,
It is a legal obligation for online platforms to prevent the spread of misinformation by any user under the Information Technology (IT) rules, 2021. They are further mandated to remove such content within 36 hours upon receiving a report from either a user or government authority. Failure to comply with this requirement invokes Rule 7, which empowers aggrieved individuals to take platforms to court under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). It is imperative that platforms take proactive measures to combat this threat. For those who find themselves impacted by deepfakes, I strongly encourage you to file First Information Reports (FIRs) at your nearest police station and avail the remedies provided under the Information Technology (IT) rules, 2021.