Rashmika Mandanna’s fake video emerges, Amitabh Bachchan calls for legal action

A deepfake video of actor Rashmika Mandanna that has been doing the rounds on social media has received widespread criticism from actors and politicians.
Actor Rashmika Mandanna
Actor Rashmika Mandanna
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A deepfake video of actor Rashmika Mandanna that has been doing the rounds on social media has received widespread criticism from actors and politicians. The edited video was shared by a user named Abhishek on X (formerly known as Twitter) who also posted the original video which was used to create the deepfake of the actor. Abhishek said, “There is an urgent need for a legal and regulatory framework to deal with deepfake in India. You might have seen this viral video of actress Rashmika Mandanna on Instagram. But wait, this is a deepfake video of Zara Patel (sic).” 

On the same X thread, Abhishek shared the original video and said, “The original video is of Zara Patel, a British-Indian girl with 415K followers on Instagram. She uploaded this video on Instagram on 9 October.” He went on to point out how in the deepfake video, the face of Zara is visible for a second before it is replaced by Rashmika’s face. “From a deepfake POV [point of view], the viral video is perfect enough for ordinary social media users to fall for it. But if you watch the video carefully, you can see at (0:01) that when Rashmika (deepfake) was entering the lift, suddenly her face changes from the other girl to Rashmika.” 

Veteran Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachan responded to Abhishek’s post on X and said that this could be grounds for legal action. He said, “Yes this is strong case for legal (sic).” 

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Electronics and Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar also responded to the post on X. He said, “Under the IT rules notified in April, 2023, it is a legal obligation for platforms to: ensure no misinformation is posted by any user AND, ensure that when reported by any user or govt, misinformation is removed in 36 hrs. If platforms do not comply with this, rule 7 will apply and platforms can be taken to court by aggrieved persons under provisions of IPC [Indian Penal Code]. Deep fakes are the latest and even more dangerous and damaging form of misinformation and needs to be dealt with by platforms.” 

Deepfakes are a kind of synthetic media in which the facial appearance of a person is digitally manipulated to bear likeness to another using artificial intelligence. They can be identified by unnatural facial expression and/or movements such as frequent blinking, not blinking enough, and stiff movements. They also have blurry eyes that are unfocused and often do not match the person’s head movements. 

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