Sachin Tendulkar: Indian cricket legend points out 'disturbing' deepfake video

  • By Nikhila Henry
  • BBC News, Delhi

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Tendulkar is the latest Indian celebrity to be targeted by deepfakes

Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has criticized a deepfake video in which he appears to be promoting an online gaming app.

The video shows him praising the app as a quick way to make money.

“These videos are fake. It is disturbing to see the rampant misuse of technology,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Tendulkar is the latest Indian celebrity to speak out against deepfake videos.

A few months ago, actress Rashmika Mandanna urged people not to share such material after a deepfake video of her went viral. The video, in which Mandanna's face was transformed into an Instagram video posted by a British-Indian woman, sparked a discussion in India about the misuse of technology.

The actress, who described the incident as “extremely frightening”, had asked the girls to speak up if something like this happened to them.

Other Indian actresses like Alia Bhatt, Kajol and Katrina Kaif have also been targeted by deepfake videos.

In Tendulkar's case, the video also showed him saying that his daughter used the gaming app regularly.

“Social media platforms need to be vigilant and respond to complaints. Swift action on their part is crucial to stop the spread of misinformation and deepfakes,” the legendary batsman wrote.

Tendulkar, one of India's most popular cricketers who retired in 2013, endorses several top brands.

Responding to Tendulkar's post, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India's junior information technology (IT) minister, said that “deepfakes and misinformation powered by AI” threaten the safety of internet users.

He added that India will soon announce strict rules to ensure that social media platforms immediately remove deepfake videos.

According to India's IT rules, social media platforms must ensure that “no user posts misinformation.” Platforms that fail to comply could be taken to court under Indian law.

Mr. Chandrasekhar and Federal IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw have previously spoken out against deepfakes.

In November, Mr Vaishnaw led a meeting with social media platforms and artificial intelligence companies where he said the government would soon present a “clear, actionable plan” to combat deepfakes.

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