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India urges Meta, X, Google to delete illegal content, detect deepfakes or risk consequences

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In Short:

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has issued a new advisory to social media companies, stating they must not allow the hosting of unlawful content, bias, or threats to the electoral process. Non-compliance could result in legal action. The advisory focuses on the use of Artificial Intelligence to prevent the dissemination of deepfakes. Prime Minister Modi previously highlighted the dangers of deepfakes.

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

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued a new advisory to social media giants, emphasizing that they must not allow users to host, display, publish, or transmit unlawful content. The advisory also warns against biases that could threaten the integrity of the electoral process, with potential consequences for non-compliance.

Key Points from the Advisory:

  • Previous Advisory Superseded: The new advisory supersedes the one issued on March 1, 2024.
  • Emphasis on AI: Platforms should ensure that their computer resources, including Artificial Intelligence models, do not permit biases or discrimination.
  • Consequences of Non-Compliance: Non-compliance with the IT Act 2000 and/or IT Rules could lead to prosecution for intermediaries, platforms, and their users.
  • Labeling of Misinformation: In cases of potential misinformation or deepfakes, information should be labeled with unique metadata or identifiers.

Government’s Stance:

The government has expressed concerns about the spread of deepfakes and misinformation, highlighting them as significant threats during the electoral process. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also raised alarm about the potential chaos these technologies could cause in society.

Previous Advisories:

In December last year, MeitY issued a similar advisory to social media giants such as Meta, X, and Google, urging them to take down deepfakes. The absence of a global regulatory regime has made deepfakes a concerning issue worldwide.

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