DailyPost 2610

The concerns raised over deepfakes have been genuine and for long it was felt that it is impending. Now when it has started hitting hard on our faces, we tend to project as if we are have taken by surprise. For sure, that is not the case. Moving away from this narrow and linear thought process, we need to understand the nature of polity and consequently society and businesses we have built up. The story is not fake to the deep fake, it starts much earlier and today seems to the culminating in deepfake, may be something worse is still waiting for us.

The story starts when truth was declared an opinion. When corruption became a matter of choice and not abject criminality. When election malpractices became the order of the day. When campaigning, getting elected and governments thus elected had nothing to do with manifesto. When bureaucracy became an (extended arm of politics.* When the powers that be; themselves or / and cohorts thought they could get away with the anything. When corruption and crime lost its social stigma. When you could build a false narrative, sell it and get away with it. When the predictability of punishment was lost, the timelines has already vanished anyway.

When self-certification became the norm. When every politician became a rags to riches story. And when everything started getting decided in the court of the people. This is the scenario we were in for a long time and it was getting perfected by the day. A broken system which was declared legally correct, right, legal and fully functional fit enough to usher in democratic heaven. In this scenario the demigod called social media was born. Indian democratic world was waiting for it. Data and facts we had cared earlier as well, now data could be churned as per one’s choice, edited, cut, copy, edited, pasted et al, criminal creativity got a tool of its choice.

Social media is replete with examples of lies, falsehood and fakes that we have reached a level where the truth cannot be segregated as truth. Data has landed in a cesspool and facts in a whirlpool. Tech for the political class is falsehood; the multimedia way and digital coolies are employed for that purpose. Fake should be calibrated and controlled. This fake, make believe, surreal world when pushed in the physical world could create paper tigers, which looked more impressive than the real ones. But fakes are fakes. Deepfakes takes the control out of the manipulators and that is the reason, we see visible marks of concern on their foreheads. We have not been able regulate simplest of things; this one is a monster. The issue is not that deepfakes can be created by today’s technology, the real issue is that we are providing it with most congenial environment of grow and prosper. What we sow is what you reap.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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