Deepfake Controversy Sweeps Social Media, Alarming Celebrities and Leaders

By Chitra Acharya

The unsettling phenomenon of deepfakes has resurfaced in the realm of social media, creating uproar and concern after several instances involving prominent personalities like Rashmika Mandanna, Katrina Kaif, Kajol, and now, actor Alia Bhatt. 

Reports from HT confirm that a manipulated video circulating on social platforms displays Alia Bhatt's face superimposed onto another woman's, a development to which Alia Bhatt has not yet responded.

Alia Bhatt becomes the latest target in a series of deepfake videos where her facial features have been seamlessly integrated into another woman's footage, showcasing various gestures. The unsettling nature of these videos has brought widespread attention to the growing misuse of AI-generated content.

Earlier, actress Rashmika Mandanna faced a similar ordeal when a deepfake video featuring her went viral. Expressing her dismay, the 'Pushpa' actress highlighted the distress caused by the misuse of technology to manipulate and potentially damage someone's reputation. Mandanna voiced her concerns, emphasizing the fear and vulnerability individuals face due to such misuses of technology.

In this recent instance, the manipulated video portrayed the 'Pushpa' actress in a black dress entering an elevator, yet the footage belonged to another individual, created using a technology known as deepfake. Reacting to this incident, various public figures, including Amitabh Bachchan and Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, responded to the video.

Amitabh Bachchan, addressing a tweet regarding the identical video, emphasized the need for strong legal action against such manipulative content. Even Prime Minister Modi highlighted the gravity of the issue, acknowledging deepfakes as a significant concern and urging platforms to incorporate warnings regarding such content, as revealed during his interaction with the ChatGPT team.

The emergence of these deepfake videos has stirred widespread apprehension among both public figures and leaders, emphasizing the urgent need for measures to combat and regulate the misuse of technology for malicious purposes. This ongoing saga serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities individuals face in the digital age, urging greater vigilance and safeguards against the abuse of AI-generated content.