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Election Essentials: 4 Websites to Identify Deepfakes and Fake News During India's 2024 Elections With deepfakes expected to be a major part of the election season worldwide, voters should do their due diligence prior to believing or sharing news

By Paromita Gupta

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World's largest democracy, India, is underway with its largest-ever election in history. The 2024 Indian general elections will be conducted in seven phases, with two already having taken place.

An estimated 960 million people in a country of 1.4 billion are eligible to vote this time. This signifies that millions are also an easy target for fake and deepfake information and news which are easily circulated on social media platforms.

In the '2023 State of Deepfakes Report' by 'Home Security Heroes,' a US-based web security services company, it was revealed that there were over 95,000 deepfakes online in 2023, marking a staggering 550 per cent increase since 2019.

The influence of deepfakes has been felt in countries like the USA, Nigeria, and Bangladesh, particularly during elections. Additionally, India was ranked as the sixth most susceptible nation to the threat of deepfakes according to the report.

Global security software company, McAfee, reported that around 22 per cent of Indians surveyed said they recently came across a political deepfake they later discovered to be fake.

With deepfakes expected to be a major part of the election season worldwide, voters should do their due diligence prior to believing or sharing news. Here are four websites which are helping the public spot fake and deepfake news, particularly with regard to elections-

1. Myth vs Reality

The Myth vs Reality register by the Election Commission of India serves as a repository of debunked fake news related to elections in India. "This Register aims to promote transparency, accuracy, and responsible communication during elections. It serves as a valuable tool for both the general public and media organisations to access verified information and counter false narratives that may mislead voters," the official website notes.

It verifies information with regards to Electronic Voting Machine/ Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail, Electoral Roll/Voter Services, and Conduct of Elections.

2. Deepfakes Analysis Unit

An initiative by Misinformation Combat Alliance, DAU checks for A.I.-Generated Content, Manipulated or Altered Media, Deepfakes, and Cheapfakes/Shallowfakes. It operates through a structure of academic scholars, researchers, startups, tech platforms, fact-checkers, and journalists.

A few of its assessments include Rajasthan politician Shakti Singh Rathore speaking in Tamil, Bollywood actors Aamir Khan and Ranveer Singh supporting Congress, and Rahul Gandhi announcing his resignation from Congress. They've also partnered with Meta for it.

3. Check4Spam

Started by a group of IT professionals from Bangalore to curb the spam that is frequently circulated in social channels like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter, Check4Spam's Nokiye lists out fact-check reports regarding a topic or personality.

It allows the general public to submit news or posts for verification. The platform's mission is to "Make life easy for the common man and life trouble for the spammers."

4. BOOM

Present in three countries- India, Myanmar, and Bangladesh, BOOM's mission is to fight misinformation, explain issues, and make the internet safer. It has assessed news such as Kamal Nath's Article 370 statement, Amit Shah promising to scrap SC/ST/OBC reservation, and MS Dhoni urging people to vote for Congress and is presently available in three Indian languages, English, Hindi, and Bengali.

Paromita Gupta

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 
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