Deepfakes Of Movie Personalities Raise Woes Among Politicians During Lok Sabha Election 2024

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Swastika Dubey
Swastika Dubey
Swastika Dubey is a content writer who loves to write about trending entertainment topics, fashion, and lifestyle. She also loves to listen to classic old Hindi songs and travel to new places in her leisure time. Her writing is well researched, covering important aspects and core of the topic covering crucial points.

Fake videos have taken the internet by storm where two A-listers from the Bollywood fraternity were seen not just promoting the opposition Congress party during the ongoing General Elections in India but also heavily criticised the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.

In the 30-second video of Aamir Khan and the 41-second video of Ranveer Singh, both Bollywood stars were seen saying PM Modi failed to deliver on his campaign promises and also failed to address the critical issues of the Indian economy during his 2 terms serving as the Prime Minister.

Both the videos, which have now been termed as made using AI, ended with the Congress Party symbol and the slogan which read “Vote for Justice, Vot for Congress”.

Since last week, both videos have been seen more than 5 lakh times across social media platforms.

The widespread of these videos across social media platforms shows the potential of AI-powered (Artificial Intelligence) content can impact the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in the country which began last Friday and will end on the 1st of June with the result declaration on the 4th of June.

India, however, is not the only country where such AI and AI-powered fakes (deepfakes) have been used during elections, similar instances have been seen across the globe including in the US, Indonesia and even our neighbor Pakistan.

For the longest time, Indian elections have relied mostly on rallies and door-to-door campaigning, however, since 2019 the deep reach of WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms have been used by almost every political party. However, this is the first time AI is being used in elections.

Congress spokesperson, Sujata Paul, shared Ranveer Singh’s deepfake video on X with her 16,000 followers on the 17th of April and by the 20th of April noon, the post was already reshared 2,900 times amassing almost 4.5 lakh videos and 8.700 likes.

While speaking with Reuters via telephone, Paul acknowledged that she knew the video was marked as “manipulated media” by X, however, she did not take down the post and while posting she assumed the video was made by a lookalike and “has creativity for sure”.

The video, however, has not been visible on X since Sunday, hours after the news portal Reuters sent a formal request to Congress’ head of social media cell for comments on the scenario but did not receive any reply.

Both Khan and Singh have come out and claimed the videos to be fake. Additionally, Facebook, X and at least 8 fact-checking portals have claimed the videos to be altered or manipulated.

Though it is not certain who made the videos but Khan was “alarmed” by the “fake” video that went viral, while Singh’s team said they were looking into the issue. On Friday, Ranveer Singh wrote, “Deepfake se bacho dostonnnn 💀,” on X which loosely translates to “Be aware of deepfake, friends.”

India has the largest population in the world, overtaking China in April last year, and almost 900 million (90 crore) people have access to the internet. According to a survey conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) business school and Esya Centre, an average Indian spends more than 3 hours on social media every day. In a country which has close to 1 billion (100 crore) voters, one could understand how important it is to stop such instances.

Some versions of the deepfake videos of Khan and Singh have been blocked by social media platforms however a handful are still being circulated around.

The videos have forced police investigation as Aamir Khan registered a case in Mumbai against unnamed people on the 17th of April for alleged cheating and impersonation for creating the deepfake video.

Reuters said, two police officers who are working on Khan’s case said they wrote to X and Facebook to take down the video and both platforms have complied with their request. The officers, who declined to be named, said they were up until 2:00 AM on Friday, checking the pages to ensure Khan’s videos online were taken down, however, they did say “such technical investigations take time,” when asked about the case’s progress.

Speaking of the use of AI in elections this year, Congress leader Vijay Vasanth’s spokesperson said that the team created a 2-minute AV clip (Audio-Video) using AI which was shared on several social media platforms and shows his now dead but more popular politician father H. Vasanthakumar seeking votes for Vijay.

The late politician was seen saying “Even though my body left you all, my soul is still around”.

Not just South, even in the East AI is being used. Several videos posted by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM) use an AI-generated anchor named Samata who dresses in a traditional Saree and speaks in a style that seems like of a regular new channel anchor and criticises the All India Trinamool Congress which is currently in power in West Bengal.

In one such video, which has been viewed 12,000 times, the AI-powered anchors raise a question “These are questions that we the citizens of this city need to ponder over,” while it is not a real person.

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