"These videos are fake"
Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has recently found himself entangled in the web of deepfake videos, a plague that is spreading across India.
This latest revelation has added to the mounting worries surrounding the surge of AI-generated content in the country.
A widely circulated clip on social media featured the cricket legend endorsing an online gaming app through a deepfake video.
In the footage, it was falsely said that Tendulkar’s daughter, Sara, is financially benefitting from the app too.
Taking to X, Tendulkar reposted the video and quickly discredited it.
He also urged for a vigilant stance against the spread of misinformation and emphasised the need for prompt action, tweeting:
“These videos are fake. It is disturbing to see rampant misuse of technology.
“Request everyone to report videos, ads & apps like these in large numbers.
“Social Media platforms need to be alert and responsive to complaints.
“Swift action from their end is crucial to stopping the spread of misinformation and deepfakes.”
These videos are fake. It is disturbing to see rampant misuse of technology. Request everyone to report videos, ads & apps like these in large numbers.
Social Media platforms need to be alert and responsive to complaints. Swift action from their end is crucial to stopping the… pic.twitter.com/4MwXthxSOM
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 15, 2024
Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has notified all social media companies to identify and remove disinformation, particularly focusing on deepfakes.
The government is encouraging social media platforms to take a proactive and assertive approach. Talking to The Independent, Vaishnaw said:
“Deepfake is a big issue for all of us.
“We recently issued notices to all the big social media firms, asking them to take steps to identify deepfakes, for removing those content.
“The social media platforms have responded. They are taking action.
“We have told them to be more aggressive in this work.”
This new high-profile incident comes after a wave of Indian celebrities were used in deepfake videos.
Actress Rashmika Mandanna implored individuals to refrain from sharing such content when a video featuring her gained widespread attention.
The clip, wherein Mandanna’s face was digitally manipulated onto a British Indian woman who was dancing provocatively, triggered discussions regarding the inappropriate use of technology.
Notably, other Indian actresses like Alia Bhatt, Kajol, and Katrina Kaif have also been subjects of this problem.
Likewise, deepfakes of prominent figures like Shah Rukh Khan, Virat Kohli, and Akshay Kumar have surfaced in advertisements and sponsored posts across social media in India.
Narayana Murthy, the chief of Infosys, was also a target, and a separate deepfake video showcased renowned journalist Ravish Kumar endorsing a diabetes medicine.
In 2023, synthetic media specialist company, DeepMedia, reported that approximately 500,000 video and voice deepfakes were shared globally.