Sachin Tendulkar falls victim to deepfake video

Cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar has become the latest victim of deepfakes after a video went viral showing the former Indian cricketer endorsing a gaming app called Skyward Aviator Quest. In the video, Tendulkar is seen promoting the app saying his daughter Sara uses it to make daily gains to the tune of Rs 1.8 lakh by predicting the outcome of the game.

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Tendulkar, however, said the video was fake.

“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,” he said on X (formerly Twitter).

Minister of state for information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar responded on X saying the ministry will implement tighter rules under the IT Act to ensure compliance by platforms.

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“Thank you @sachin_rt for this tweet. #DeepFakes and misinformation powered by #AI are a threat to Safety&Trust of Indian users and represents harm & legal violation that platforms hv to prevent and take down. Recent Advisory by @GoI_MeitY requires platforms to comply wth this 100%. We will be shortly notifying tighter rules under the IT Act to ensure compliance by platforms,” he said.

Tendulkar joins the long list of celebrities and public figures who have fallen prey to deepfakes, which includes Rashmika Mandanna, PM Narendra Modi, and Alia Bhatt. Deepfakes are images that use artificial intelligence to create convincing images, audio, and video hoaxes. They often transform existing source content where one person is swapped for another and create entirely original content where someone is represented doing or saying something they didn’t do or say.

The greatest danger posed by deepfakes is their ability to spread false information that appears to come from trusted sources.

The Indian government has sent an advisory to social media platforms reminding them that they may lose ‘safe harbour immunity’ under the Act if they fail to remove within 36 hours deepfake content that has been reported.

ET reported on November 14 citing experts that provisions of the existing IT law may not be sufficient to tackle the problem of deepfakes as they cannot thwart their creation and original circulation, urging policymakers to step in to address the damage they cause.