Updated February 19th, 2024 at 19:03 IST

Corporate Affairs Ministry and Meta launch WhatsApp helpline to combat deepfakes

The hotline has been setup ahead of upcoming Lok Sabba elections

Reported by: Business Desk
Whatsapp | Image:Freepik Photo

Helpline chatbot: The Misinformation Combat Alliance (MCA) and Meta have announced the upcoming launch of a dedicated fact-checking helpline on WhatsApp, aimed at combating deepfakes and deceptive AI-generated content. This initiative is set to be available to the public in March 2024.

The move to crack down on deepfakes comes as the country prepares for its general elections, scheduled for April–May this year. The helpline is a joint effort by MCA and Meta to combat media generated using artificial intelligence (AI) that may deceive people on matters of public importance, commonly known as deepfakes.


Multilingual Helpline 

According to a release, the helpline will provide multilingual support in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, allowing people to flag deepfakes by sending them to a WhatsApp chatbot. The MCA will establish a central 'deepfake analysis unit' to manage all inbound messages received on the WhatsApp helpline. This unit will work closely with member fact-checking organisations, industry partners, and digital labs to assess and verify the content, debunking false claims and misinformation. 


The collaboration between Meta and MCA marks a continued effort to empower users with tools to verify information about their service. Shivnath Thukral, Director, Public Policy India, Meta, emphasised the importance of combating AI-generated misinformation, stating that concrete and cooperative measures across the industry are required. This initiative is consistent with Meta's pledge under the Tech Accord to Combat Deceptive Use of AI in 2024 Elections.

Arresting the spread 

Bharat Gupta, President, Misinformation Combat Alliance, highlighted the importance of the Deepfakes Analysis Unit (DAU) in arresting the spread of AI-enabled disinformation among social media and internet users. He expressed hope that the DAU will become a trusted resource for the public to discern between real and AI-generated media.

The government has also emphasised the need for platforms to act decisively on deepfakes and align their terms of use and community guidelines with IT rules and current laws. Compliance failure would be dealt with strictly, with legal consequences.


(with PTI inputs)


Published February 19th, 2024 at 17:33 IST