Following a meeting between the IT Ministry and top social media companies in the country on Thursday, 23 November, it has been decided that fresh regulations on deepfakes will be developed soon.
The new regulations will look at the detection of AI-manipulated media and the prevention of its spread via social media. IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw termed deepfakes "a threat to democracy" as it weakens trust in society and its institutions.
"The use of social media is ensuring that deepfakes can spread significantly more rapidly without any checks and they can get viral within minutes of uploading," the minister said.
The upcoming regulations will also seek ways to strengthen the reporting mechanisms within social media platforms. The IT ministry will begin work on the draft regulations today itself, the minister added. The draft regulations will undergo a public consultation process as well later on. The regulations may come in the form of a new law, or as amendments to existing laws.
The meeting with social media companies was also attended by industry body Nasscom, and academics who work on artificial intelligence tools. "We all agreed that within about the next 10 days, we will come up with clear actionable items," the minister said after the meeting.
When asked about the impact of deepfake regulation on encrypted messaging platforms like WhatsApp, the minister said, "The professors who were involved in the meeting clearly made a point that it is no longer a difficult task to detect deepfakes. All platforms agreed that it is possible to do [the detection] within the privacy framework we have all over the world."
Vaishnaw announced that another meeting on the issue will take place before the end of December first week.