After a long day at work or studies, scrolling through the phone and watching some entertaining videos is a perfect dopamine booster. Parodies are in trend and everyone wants a good laugh. People are making use of artificial intelligence (AI) to create comedy videos, morphing the voice and the face of some very popular people, like internet personalities, politicians and actors. This is all fun and laughter until some groups of people really begin their misusing game.
A week or so ago, a female Indian celebrity talked about a deepfake video of hers doing rounds on social media. She expressed her concerns about the same. And this celebrity is not the only one. An increasing number of both popular celebrities and the general public, especially women, have become a target of the same. To simply explain deepfake, it mainly refers to those fake videos that are generated through the computer. And these videos look so real that we are unable to realise its high-level fakeness. These videos as mentioned above could act as a weapon to spread misinformation, propaganda and even cause character assassination. And in the case of women, character assassination has grown significantly.
Every year, the world gears up to celebrate a 16-day activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV). This event is celebrated from November 25 to December 10. And currently we are in the midst of this global campaign against GBV. While efforts are being made to reduce gender-based violence against women, it is necessary to highlight that newer forms of violence are emerging. It would not be wrong to say that even deepfake videos are a form of violence practiced online, primarily targeting women. Pornographic and sexual contents are being developed out of this technology, causing trauma and suffering to the victims.
A study by SensityAI, a visual threat intelligence company, has highlighted that around 96 per cent of deepfake contents are sexually explicit in nature and features women who have not given consent for anyone to create such matters. Social media and the latest science and technology development were always called a boon for the 21st century. But we cannot help but doubt this statement. Because in every way possible, science and technology is being used as a lethal tool, harming individuals, their sentiments and societies at large. And most people are completely unaware of it.
It is necessary that concerted efforts be put in tackling this issue. The law should evolve in a way that the recent technology and its threats are mitigated in every way possible. Defamation and humiliation towards people, especially women, should stop at once. And this should be done through collaborative endeavours of the government, different national and international organisations and law enforcement. Most people are unaware of these kinds of contents and consider them to be the truth.
Therefore, creating awareness and educating people is very necessary. Also, social media platforms should work towards detecting these kinds of videos and strictly putting a stop on them. A social changemaker event like the 16 Days Activism Against GBV can only pay off when special attention is given to the different forms of violence taking place. Hopefully, the concerned stakeholders will be more mindful of and attentive towards this serious matter.