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India urges Meta, X, Google to delete illegal content, detect deepfakes or be penalized

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In Short:

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued a new advisory to social media giants to not allow unlawful content, bias, or threats to the electoral process on their platforms. The advisory, which supersedes a previous one, warns of action in case of non-compliance. AI-generated deepfakes are a major concern, with the government emphasizing the need to label such content. Prime Minister Modi has also highlighted deepfakes as a serious threat.

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology Issues Fresh Advisory to Social Media Giants

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued a new advisory to social media platforms, instructing them not to allow users to host, display, publish, or transmit unlawful content. The advisory also emphasizes the importance of maintaining the integrity of the electoral process and warns of potential consequences for non-compliance.

Key Points of the Advisory

  • Scope: The advisory supersedes the previous one issued on March 1, 2024.
  • AI Use: Social media platforms are required to ensure that their computer resources do not permit any bias, discrimination, or threats to the electoral process through the use of Artificial Intelligence models or algorithms.
  • Action: Non-compliance with the provisions of the IT Act 2000 and/or IT Rules may result in prosecution for intermediaries, platforms, and users.

The government has also highlighted the issue of AI-generated deepfakes, which poses a significant challenge for both the authorities and social media platforms.

In a statement, MeitY secretary S Krishnan emphasized the importance of social media companies removing AI-generated deepfake content from their platforms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has previously expressed concerns about deepfakes and their potential to disrupt society.

Regulatory Concerns

In the absence of a global regulatory framework, deepfakes and misinformation have become a prominent issue, especially during important events like elections. The Ministry had previously issued a similar advisory to major social media companies, urging them to take action against deepfake content.

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