Deepfake use in Delhi polls sparks worries

A screengrab from a fake video featuring Bharatiya Janata Party leader Manoj Tiwari.
A screengrab from a fake video featuring Bharatiya Janata Party leader Manoj Tiwari.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Pro-BJP videos tapping the technology raise concerns about challenges for fact-checking

The emergence of two pro-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) videos that were made using deepfake techniques during India's recent Delhi state election has raised concerns about potential misuse of this technology in a country where even crudely edited videos have led to several deaths.

Media outlet Vice reported last month that the IT Cell of the Delhi BJP unit had partnered with Indian communications firm The Ideaz Factory to create "positive campaigns" using deepfakes to reach different language speakers, marking the debut of deepfakes in election campaigning in India.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2020, with the headline 'Deepfake use in Delhi polls sparks worries'. Print Edition | Subscribe