Sachin Tendulkar: Indian cricket legend warns of ‘disturbing’ deepfake video

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Tendulkar is the latest Indian celebrity to be targeted by deepfakes

By Nikhila Henry

BBC News, Delhi

Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has criticised a deepfake video in which he seems 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 rampant misuse of technology,” he posted on X (formerly Twitter).

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

A few months ago, actress Rashmika Mandanna urged people not to share such material after a deepfake video of hers went viral. The video, which had Mandanna’s face morphed onto an Instagram video posted by a British-Indian woman, sparked a conversation in India about the misuse of technology.

The actress, who called the incident “extremely scary”, had asked girls to speak up if this happened to them.

Other Indian actresses such as 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 alert and responsive to complaints. Swift action from their end is crucial to stopping the spread of misinformation and deepfakes,” the iconic batsman wrote.

Tendulkar, one of India’s most-loved cricketers who retired in 2013, endorses several top brands.

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

He added that India will soon notify strict rules to ensure that social media platforms took down deepfake videos immediately.

Under India’s IT rules, social media platforms have to ensure that “no misinformation is posted by any user”. Platforms that do not comply could be taken to court under Indian law.

Mr Chandrasekhar and federal IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw have spoken up against deepfakes earlier.

In November, Mr Vaishnaw had chaired a meeting with social media platforms and artificial intelligence companies where he said the government would soon come up with a “clear, actionable plan” to tackle deepfakes.

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