Deepfake video: Rashmika Mandanna highlights the need to ‘address it as a community and with urgency’

While Amitabh Bachchan called for legal action against the culprit, the original video was traced to one Zara Patel, a British-Indian girl.

BySouth First Desk

Published Nov 06, 2023 | 4:05 PMUpdatedNov 06, 2023 | 4:05 PM

Rashmika Mandanna

A deepfake video of actor Rashmika Mandanna went viral on social media on Monday, 6 November.

A deepfake video is a video of a person whose face or body is “digitally” altered (for malicious purposes) so they look like someone else.

Social media fans, especially Instagram users, might have come across a video of a lady wearing a black outfit entering an elevator. However, the same was morphed and edited with the help of advanced AI tools to make it look like Rashmika Mandanna.

Later, it was circulated across various platforms, and eventually, the deepfake video became one of the most widely seen videos since then.

Soon after learning about the deepfake video, Rashmika Mandanna took to her Instagram stories to talk about the horrific incident.

Rashmika Mandanna response to deepfake video

Rashmika Mandanna’s response to the deepfake video. (Instagram)

Calling it “extremely scary”, the actor said she is hurt about the whole incident.

In her story, Rashmika wrote: “I feel really hurt to share this and have to talk about the deepfake video of me being spread online. Something like this is honestly, extremely scary not only for me, but also for each one of us who today is vulnerable to so much harm because of how technology is being misused.”

She further wrote: “Today, as a woman and as an actor, I am thankful for my family, friends and well-wishers who are my protection and support system. But if this happened to me when I was in school or college, I genuinely can’t imagine how I could ever tackle this. We need to address this as a community and with urgency before more of us are affected by such identity theft.”

Amitabh Bachchan calls for action

Soon after the video went viral, Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan took to Twitter and called for a strong legal action against the culprit.

Amitabh also quoted the tweet of a journalist Abhishek who pressed for appropriate legal framework work to deal with deepfake videos in India.

Reacting to the tweets, several people expressed serious concerns over deepfake videos and also sought immediate action.

Even Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar reacted strongly to the deepfake video and told the digital platforms to take down content that violates the IT rules of India.

Meanwhile, the original video to the morphed version has been traced to one Zara Patel with the Instagram handle “zaarapatelll”. The profile mentions her as a British-Indian girl being a full-time data engineer with 433k followers.

On 9 October, Zara Patel posted a video of her getting into a lift. The original was morphed and edited to look like Rashmika Mandanna.


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A post shared by Zara Patel (@zaarapatellll)

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