Indian Actress Rashmika Mandanna Calls Deepfake Video ‘Extremely scary’


Indian actress Rashmika Mandanna has raised an alarm regarding a deepfake video of herself that has gone viral on social media, describing it as “extremely scary.” The deepfake technology involved in creating this video is increasingly being used to manipulate and spread misinformation, posing serious concerns for public figures like Mandanna.

The 27-year-old actress, widely recognized for her work in Telugu and Kannada films, has earned several accolades for her remarkable performances in the Indian film industry. Her upcoming project, “Animal,” alongside actor Ranbir Kapoor, is set for release on December 1, creating significant anticipation among her fans.

Abhishek Kumar, a journalist associated with the fact-checking platform Alt News, was among the first to flag the viral video as a deepfake. He shared the original video on social media and pointed out the seamless manipulation of Mandanna’s face, replacing the face of British-Indian woman Zara Patel in the elevator scene. Kumar highlighted the high level of realism in the video, stating that it could easily deceive ordinary social media users. He also called for the establishment of a legal framework to address such cases in the future.

Renowned Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, who co-starred with Mandanna in a film last year, echoed Kumar’s concerns and emphasized the necessity for legal actions against the creators of deepfake content. His support underlined the urgent need for a robust legal framework to combat identity theft through deepfake technology.

In response to the incident, Rashmika Mandanna shared her thoughts on social media, stating that the situation was not only unsettling for her but also for everyone vulnerable to the harmful consequences of technology misuse. She candidly reflected on how such an incident would have affected her if it had occurred during her school or college years. Mandanna expressed her gratitude for the support of her family and friends and urged the issue to be addressed urgently to prevent further individuals from falling victim to identity theft through deepfakes.

The woman featured in the original video, Zara Patel, also responded to the deepfake video, expressing her deep disturbance and distress. She shared her concerns about the increased fear among women and girls who now have to worry about the potential misuse of their images on social media platforms.

India’s IT Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar weighed in on the matter, emphasizing that deepfakes represent a new and highly dangerous form of misinformation that needs to be addressed by online platforms. Under India’s IT regulations, social media platforms are required to ensure that no misinformation is posted by their users, and failure to comply could result in legal action under Indian law.

The widespread availability of deepfake technology poses a significant challenge in the digital age, as it allows for the creation of convincing but entirely fabricated content. Rashmika Mandanna’s concerns and calls for legal action highlight the importance of developing comprehensive strategies to combat this emerging threat to online integrity and personal privacy.