• Friday, March 01, 2024


Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar lands in deepfake trap, expresses concern

Recently, a video went viral on social media in which the 50-year-old seemed to be promoting an online gaming app.

Former India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

MONTHS after some of India’s top female actors found themselves at the receiving end of the deepfake video threat, it is none other than the country’s cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar who has gone through the same.

Recently, a video went viral on social media in which the 50-year-old seemed to be promoting an online gaming app. The video showed Tendulkar praising the app as a quick way of making money.

Disappointed, he took to X to post saying, “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.”

Read: Deepfake victim Rashmika Mandanna urges women to rise against it

Read: Alia Bhatt latest prey as deepfakes continue to trouble India’s Bollywood

A few months ago, Indian actress Rashmika Mandanna urged people against sharing such material online after a deepfake video of her went viral. It showed the actor’s face morphed onto an Instagram video posted by a British-Indian woman. Mandanna called the incident “extremely scary” and asked girls to speak up if the same thing happened to them.

A number of top members from the film fraternity, including superstar Amitabh Bachchan spoke against it and backed Mandanna.

Similar deepfakes of actors Katrina Kaif, Kajol and Alia Bhatt were also seen doing the rounds on social media.

The video involving Tendulkar showed him saying that his daughter Sara used the app regularly.

Tendulkar, one of India’s most-loved cricketers who retired in 2013 after a cricketing career spanning over two decades, endorses several top brands.

Indian minister reacts

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India’s junior minister for information technology (IT) responded to the issue saying that “deepfakes and misinformation powered by AI” threatened the safety of internet users.

He also said that India will soon notify strict rules to ensure that social media platforms removed deepfake videos fast.

Tagging Tendulkar, he said on X, “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 have 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 IT Act to ensure compliance by platforms.”

Social media platforms under Indian laws need to ensure that “no misinformation is posted by any user” and platforms that do not comply could face the music.

In November, India’s IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw met representatives of social media platforms and artificial intelligence companies where he said the government would soon have a “clear, actionable plan” to tackle deepfakes.

Prime minister Narendra Modi has also expressed concerns over the growing menace of deepfakes. He once claimed that deepfake videos of him dancing were also being made during the Navratri festival last year but it was later claimed that one of his lookalikes were dancing, something that many mistook as a deepfake.

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