India actress urges women to speak up on deepfake

india actress urges women to speak up on deepfake

Rashmika Mandanna had described a viral deepfake video of herself as “extremely scary”.

Indian actress Rashmika Mandanna, who was recently targeted with a deepfake video, has urged people to not share such material.

She particuclarly urged young women to speak up if somebody bullied them with such material.

Ms Mandanna shared the message weeks after a deepfake video about her went viral on social media.

The star’s face was morphed onto an Instagram video posted by a British-Indian woman.

She had described the incident as “extremely scary” at the time.

On Monday, the actress, 27, said the support from her film industry colleagues made her realise that sharing of such videos shouldn’t be normalised.

“It [the support] made me feel safe, and secure,” she told the media on Monday.

“So I want to tell all girls out there that this is not normal. When something is affecting you, you don’t have to keep quiet.”

In a statement on X (formerly Twitter) soon after her deepfake went viral, Ms Mandanna wrote, “If this happened to me when I was in school or college, I genuinely can’t imagine how could I ever tackle this.”

The actor said she was grateful for the support of her family and friends and called for the issue to be addressed with urgency “before more of us are affected by such identity theft”.

India’s Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has called such deepfake videos a “new threat to democracy”.

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

The actress has worked in several langauges, including Hindi, Telugu and Kannada, and has also won a number of awards for her roles.

She will be next seen with actor Ranbir Kapoor in the Bollywood film Animal, which is due for release on 1 December.

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