The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has recently issued an advisory to major social media companies, reaffirming existing guidelines. This advisory, according to sources, emphasizes the importance of complying with the Information Technology Act, 2000, particularly Section 66D, which prescribes penalties of up to 3 years in imprisonment and fines of up to Rs 1 lakh for cheating by personation using computer resources.
The advisory also reiterates the IT Intermediary Rules, specifically Rule 3(1)(b)(vii), which mandates social media intermediaries to diligently inform users not to host content that impersonates another individual. Additionally, Rule 3(2)(b) requires intermediaries to promptly respond to complaints regarding content related to impersonation in an electronic form, including artificially morphed images. They must take swift action to remove or disable access to such content within 24 hours of receiving a complaint.
This advisory follows a recent controversy surrounding a deep-fake video featuring Actress Rashmika Mandhani. In response to the deep-fake video circulating on social media, the actress expressed her concerns. She shared her thoughts on Instagram, emphasizing the potentially harmful consequences of such technology misuse.
The video displayed a woman resembling Rashmika Mandhani entering an elevator while wearing a black swimsuit. The video quickly went viral, leading to numerous social media users confirming that it was a deep fake. Later investigations revealed that the video actually featured British Actress Zara Patel. The incident has raised concerns about the misuse of deep-fake technology and its impact on individuals’ identities and reputations.