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Deepfake video of Rashmika Mandanna: Delhi Police detains the primary Andhra Pradesh suspect

Rashmika Mandanna

On Saturday, the Delhi Police apprehended the primary culprit responsible for the creation of the viral deepfake video featuring actor Rashmika Mandanna. The realistic-looking deepfake video sparked a broader discussion on the potential misuse of technology, prompting influential celebrities to voice their concerns. In the video, Rashmika Mandanna’s face was seamlessly integrated into footage featuring British influencer Zara Patel.

A case was filed by the police under sections 465 and 469 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, addressing forgery and defamation. Additionally, the police invoked Sections 66C (identity theft) and 66E (privacy violation) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Rashmika Mandanna is not the sole celebrity to be targeted by the threat of deepfake videos, as others like actor Alia Bhatt, Kajol, and legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar have faced similar ordeals. The internet is currently inundated with artificially generated fake videos and audio using artificial intelligence (AI).

The misuse of deepfake technology has taken a troubling turn, with businesses crafting deceptive videos of celebrities promoting their products. Renowned cricketer Sachin Tendulkar recently found himself targeted, a fabricated video surfacing online showing him endorsing a gaming app and even falsely claiming his daughter’s financial success playing it.

“These videos are fake,” Tendulkar declared on X, his voice laced with alarm. “It is disturbing to see such rampant misuse of technology.” He urged netizens to report such content en masse, stressing the responsibility of social media platforms to be vigilant and act swiftly against these fraudulent campaigns. “Swift action from their end is crucial to stopping the spread of misinformation and fake news,” he wrote, tagging relevant government authorities.

Tendulkar’s experience highlights the growing threat of deepfakes, where malicious actors manipulate reality for personal gain. The ease of creating and disseminating these fabricated videos poses a significant risk to celebrities’ reputations and potentially misleads consumers.

Therefore, a coordinated response to this tragedy is required. Authorities must create strict laws to discourage and penalize offenders, and social media companies must improve their detection and removal processes. Public awareness initiatives are also essential for informing customers about the risks associated with deepfakes and for preparing them to use critical thinking techniques in this more dishonest digital environment.

By doing these things, we can restore confidence in virtual spaces and protect the honesty of both users and public leaders.