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Deepfake Technology

Deepfake Technology News

  • The new rules in China mandate companies and platforms using the technology to first receive consent from individuals before they edit their voice or image.
  • Deep synthesis technology: Use of technologies such as deep learning and augmented reality, to generate text, images, audio and video to create virtual scenes is called deep synthesis technology.
  • Deepfakes is one of the most notorious applications of deep synthesis technology.


China’s New Policy to Curb Deepfakes

  • The policy mandates deep synthesis service providers and users to ensure that any altered content using the technology is explicitly labeled and can be traced back to its source.
  • People using the technology to edit someone’s image or voice has to notify and take the consent of the person in question.
  • In case of reposting of news made using this technology, source can only be government-approved list of news outlets.
  • Deep synthesis service providers have to follow local laws, respect ethics, and maintain the correct political direction and correct public opinion orientation.
  • Need for such policy:
    • Unchecked use of deep synthesis technology could lead to its use in criminal activities like online scams or defamation.
    • The regulations aim to reduce risks that might arise from activities provided by platforms which use deep learning or virtual reality to alter any online content.


What is Deepfake Technology?

  • Deepfakes uses machine-learning algorithms to compile artificial images and audio put together to spread misinformation and replace a real person’s appearance, voice, or both with similar artificial likenesses or voices.
  • Deepfake technology makes use of synthetic media to swap the face or voice of one person for another. With advancement of technology, Deepfakes are getting harder to detect.
  • Deepfake technology can fake real people saying and doing things they did not say or do.
  • Origin: The term originated when an anonymous user manipulated Google’s open-source, deep-learning technology to create and post pornographic videos, involving celebrities.
  • Current uses: In recent times, the technology is used for wrong purposes such as scams and hoaxes, celebrity pornography, election manipulation, social engineering, automated disinformation attacks, identity theft and financial fraud.


Combating Deepfakes

European Union:

  • The EU has updated Code of Practice to prevent the spread of disinformation through deepfakes.
  • Under the code, tech companies such as Google, Meta, and Twitter have to take measures in countering deepfakes and fake accounts on their platforms.
  • Companies have six months to implement measures once they have signed up to the Code. If found non-compliant, companies may have to pay 6% of their annual global turnover as fine.
  • Signatories: Companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Mozilla, Microsoft, TikTok etc have joined signed up.

The US:

  • The US has introduced the bipartisan Deepfake Task Force Act to assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to counter deepfake technology.
  • The DHS has to conduct an annual study of deepfakes, assess the technology used, track its uses by foreign and domestic entities, and suggest countermeasures to tackle the same.
  • States such as California and Texas have passed laws that criminalise the publishing and distributing of deepfake videos that intend to influence the outcome of an election.
  • The law in Virginia imposes criminal penalties on the distribution of nonconsensual deepfake pornography.


  • India does not have legal rules against using deepfake technology. However, there are laws against misusing the tech, which include Copyright Violation, Defamation and cyber felonies.


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