While it was IT cells and social media that hogged the limelight in the last two elections, it’s the turn of deepfakes this time. As the election campaign reaches its peak in the country, the BJP and Congress engage in a high-decibel criticism and counter-criticism on fake videos.

A recent video clip that showed senior BJP leader Amit Shah talking about the recent reservations created ripples across the country and triggered an uproar, threatening to make a dent into the electoral prospects of the NDA allies in different States.

While PM Narendra Modi alleged that Congress is using AI to create fake videos to malign BJP and its leaders, Congress strongly refuted the claims and alleged it was BJP which started the practice of spreading false and fake content.

Assam Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma had confirmed the arrest of a Congress worker, while Delhi police summoned Telangana Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee President A Revanth Reddy for interrogation on Wednesday. A few other Congress leaders have also reportedly received the notices for sharing the video.

Notices to Congress

Addressing media on Tuesday, Supriya Shrinate, Chairperson of Congress’ Social Media and Digital Platforms, criticised the BJP for serving notices to the Congress leaders.

The Congress worker reportedly edited an old video (where Amit Shah spoke about 4 per cent reservations given to Muslims) to show that he was talking about doing away with reservations. The said video was shared and re-shared several times on social media, triggering a row. 

Flaying the Narendra Modi Government for servicing notices on him, Revanth Reddy alleged that the Modi Government, after letting Enforcement Directorate, the CBI, and Income Tax Departments take on Opposition leaders, was now deploying the Delhi Police to hound the Opposition parties.

“We are not afraid. We will reply by defeating the BJP in the State in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

Amit Relan, Co-Founder and CEO of cybersecurity solutions company, mFilterIt, said that a comprehensive monitoring across the digital landscape is needed to identify deepfakes and prevent them before they do much damage.

“To battle AI, we need AI and machine learning algorithm-driven tech that can identify such cases before they damage individuals or brand reputations,” he said.