Deep fake narratives new threat in polls: CEC

NEW DELHI: Chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Monday raised concern over level-playing field not being built into results thrown up by search engines, to "at least show

officially verified versions with the same prominence as fake content" that could set off a misleading narrative to discredit the election process. Addressing the three-day

international conference on 'Use of Technology & Elections Integrity' being organised by the Election Commission of India, Kumar flagged the "disturbing trend of deep fake

narratives that 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". He added that verified official versions are listed way down in the search results or may not be reflected at all. The EC pointed to similar

attempts to discredit the EVM technology with fake news, giving the example of an old statement on EVM hacking attributed to former chief election commissioner T S Krishnamurthy

and widely circulated on social media. Even though Krishnamurthy himself had then denied having made the statement and put on record his faith in credibility and reliability of

EVMs, the fake news item continues to be revived and recirculated on social media around elections. Kumar pointed out that social media intermediaries, through their

algorithm power and artificial intelligence (AI), have the capability to detect the deep fakes proactively, especially in jurisdictions like India where electoral cycles are

definite and known well in advance.