CEC Rajiv Kumar flags threat from deep fake narratives to elections

New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Monday flagged the disturbing trend of deep fake narratives have become a common feature in elections worldwide, where disruptive elements attempt to alter public perception and mislead the user by repetitively presenting the deep fakes as “fact”.

Kumar stressed that social media intermediaries through their algorithm power and AI, have the capability to detect the deep fakes proactively, especially in jurisdictions like India, where electoral cycles are definite and well announced.

The CEC made these remarks at an international conference organised by the Election Commission in New Delhi on the ‘’Use of Technology and Elections Integrity‘’.

Kumar further raised concerns over level playing field not inbuilt in platforms search results to at least show officially verified versions with the same prominence as fake content. CEC used enforcement agencies analogy to put onus on social media platforms to detect deep fakes proactively.

‘’He said that it is difficult to imagine if the enforcement agencies say that they would not act unless crime is reported to them; intelligence prevention is not their responsibility,‘’ the Election Commission said in a statement.

In his keynote address, CEC Rajiv Kumar emphasised that engagement of technology has become vital in ensuring inclusivity and transparency in elections and thus in further building up trust towards the democratic electoral exercise.

“The success of any EMB depends on deploying appropriate technology in three broad verticals – ease of registration for voters, facilitating political parties & candidates and thirdly for election management & logistics/security,” he said.

Kumar highlighted various tech interventions by ECI like cVigil, Saksham App for PwDs and use of battery operated non-networked EVMs in a million plus polling stations which has empowered voters and has ensured prompt and credible electoral outcomes election after election.

The two-day conference is the second in a series of three conferences to be organised by the Election Commission. It is being hosted under the Cohort on Election Integrity led by the commission. Sixteen countries, including heads and deputy heads of nine election management authorities or election authorities, are participating in the conference.

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