Centre’s Reminder on Legal Action After Rashmika Mandanna Deepfake Scandal

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Rashmika

In response to the alarming emergence of a viral deepfake video purportedly featuring popular actor Rashmika Mandanna, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has taken a stern stance by issuing a detailed advisory to social media platforms. The purpose of this advisory is to emphasize the legal implications associated with deepfake content.

The government’s advisory refers to Section 66D of the Information Technology Act, 2000, which specifically addresses the “punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resources.” The section outlines that anyone found guilty of cheating by personation through any communication device or computer resource may face imprisonment of up to three years and be liable to a fine of up to one lakh rupees.

Rashmika Mandanna: A Viral Deepfake Incident

This action follows a widespread deepfake video that seemingly showed Rashmika Mandanna entering an elevator, which was later discovered to be a video of British-Indian influencer Zara Patel with Ms. Mandanna’s face digitally altered. The incident raised concerns regarding the implications of such manipulation, especially for public figures whose identities can be manipulated in such content.

Actor’s Concern and Industry Response

Expressing concern and distress over this incident, Rashmika Mandanna highlighted the deep-seated fears associated with the misuse of technology. Her response encapsulated the fears and vulnerabilities faced by individuals in an era where such manipulative practices are rampant. Renowned figures in the film industry, including Amitabh Bachchan, also voiced their concerns, emphasizing the necessity for legal action.

Government’s Stand on Digital Safety

Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring safety and trust for Indian citizens. Implementing the IT rules in April 2023 mandates platforms to swiftly remove reported misinformation within 36 hours; non-compliance could lead to legal actions under provisions of the IPC. Minister Chandrasekhar highlighted the dangerous potential of deep fakes and called for stringent action by the platforms to address such concerns.

While the government’s advisory seeks to regulate such digital malpractices, the controversial video remains visible on various social media platforms.

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