Concerns Rise Over AI Manipulation in India Election via Deepfakes

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Concerns Rise Over AI Manipulation in India Election via Deepfakes

In the chaos of the ongoing general election of 2024, the deepfakes videos and photos sparked worries and appeared as a great challenge in front of the Election Commission of India. Several deepfake videos have been circulating online and heightening the issues of misinformation regarding the general election 2024. To make the situation worse, deepfake video creators are using images of renowned Bollywood personalities. In the latest addition to this, two A-lister Bollywood actors in India are seen in a video where they can be seen criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Deepfake Videos Of A-lister Bollywood Actors 

The latest viral deepfake videos have used the images of famous stars, hence it is obvious to go viral and lure a lot of attention which is surely not in the favour of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). These two A-list Bollywood actors are identified as Aamir Khan and Ranveer Singh who have millions of followers on their social media accounts. Ever since these videos have been posted online, it started trending on Twitter and Instagram. 

Initially, people were shocked to watch the open criticism of these actors against PM Modi. Not only the criticism but both actors were also seen favouring the Congress Party and asked their fans to cast their vote for the opposition party of Congress. Usually, actors avoid showing their support to a political party particularly A-lister stars and that is why these videos garnered a lot of attention and were brought into the limelight. The lengths of the videos are 30 seconds and 41 seconds respectively in which both Bollywood stars purportedly say Modi failed to address economic issues and to fulfil campaign promises while sitting in the position of Prime Minister for two times. 

After watching these videos, netizens began circulating online and made it a top trending topic. Moreover, both AI-generated videos conclude with the Congress election symbol and tagline “Vote for Justice, Vote for Congress.” According to the reports, the two videos were posted last week on social media and since then gathered half a million views. After watching the videos, people started to comment that these were AI-generated and trying to create havoc on social media. Keywords and hashtags like “Deepfake Misuse”, “Ranveer Singh Deepfake Video” and so on started trending on social media platforms. 

Their spread underlines the potential role such AI-generated content can play in the enormous Indian election that began on Friday, 19 April 2024 and will continue until June. Artificial Intelligence and AI-generated fake videos or deepfake videos are being largely used in elections elsewhere in the world, including Pakistan, the US, and Indonesia. Door-to-door campaigning and public gatherings have long been the mainstays of Indian politics; nevertheless, the widespread use of Facebook and WhatsApp as tools since 2019. The general election of 2024 in which the current Prime Minister of India is expected to secure the position for the third time is the initial one in which Artificial Intelligence is being used.

According to the reports, Sujata Paul, a Congress spokesperson shared Ranveer Singh’s video on X on Wednesday, April 17. Around 16,000 people are following her on X. Since posted a video on Wednesday and by Saturday afternoon, her post started trending. The report states the post had been reshared more than 2,900 times and accumulated 8,700 likes and 438,000 views. However, the videos were taken down on Sunday, 21 April 2024.

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