Crackdown on deepfakes: MCA, Meta partner to curb AI-generated misinformation with WhatsApp helpline : The Tribune India

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Crackdown on deepfakes: MCA, Meta partner to curb AI-generated misinformation with WhatsApp helpline

The pledge to crack down on deepfakes comes at a time when the world’s largest democracy is preparing for general elections.

Crackdown on deepfakes: MCA, Meta partner to curb AI-generated misinformation with WhatsApp helpline

The helpline will be available for the public to use in March. Tribune file



PTI

New Delhi, February 19 

The Misinformation Combat Alliance (MCA) and Meta have announced that a dedicated fact-checking helpline on WhatsApp — aimed at combating deepfakes and deceptive AI-generated content — will be available for the public in March 2024.

The pledge to crack down on deepfakes comes at a time when the world’s largest democracy is preparing for general elections. The Lok Sabha elections are due in April-May this year.

“MCA and Meta are working on launching a dedicated fact-checking helpline on WhatsApp in an effort to combat media generated using artificial intelligence (AI) which may deceive people on matters of public importance, commonly known as deepfakes, and help people connect with verified and credible information,” according to a release.

The helpline will be available for the public to use in March, it added.

MCA is a cross-industry alliance bringing companies, organisations, institutions, industry associations and entities together to collectively fight misinformation and its impact. It currently has 16 members including fact-checking organisations, media outlets, and civic tech.

The MCA-Meta collaboration will allow MCA and its associated network of independent fact-checkers and research organisations to address viral misinformation — particularly deepfakes.

People will be able to flag deepfakes by sending it to the WhatsApp chatbot which will offer multilingual support in English and three regional languages (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu).

The MCA will set up a central ‘deepfake analysis unit’ to manage all inbound messages they receive on the WhatsApp helpline.

They will work closely with member fact-checking organisations as well as industry partners and digital labs to assess and verify the content and respond to the messages accordingly, debunking false claims and misinformation.

According to the release, the program is based on a four-pillar approach — detection, prevention, reporting and driving awareness around the escalating spread of deepfakes along with building a critical instrument that allows citizens to access reliable information to fight the spread of such misinformation.

With millions of Indian users on WhatsApp, the collaboration between Meta and MCA marks a continued effort to empower users with tools to verify information on its service.

Commenting on the partnership, Shivnath Thukral, Director, Public Policy India, Meta, said, “We recognise the concerns around AI-generated misinformation and believe combatting this requires concrete and cooperative measures across the industry”.  

The collaboration with MCA to launch a WhatsApp helpline dedicated to debunking deepfakes that can materially deceive people, is consistent with Meta’s pledge under ‘Tech Accord to Combat Deceptive Use of AI in 2024 Elections’.

Meta’s fact-checking program in India includes partnerships with 11 independent fact-checking organisations that help users to identify, review, verify information and help prevent the spread of misinformation on its platforms. 

#Deepfake #Democracy #Meta #WhatsApp


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