Manoj Tiwari attacks political adversary with deepfake Haryanvi broadcast

Occurred: February 2020

India's ruling political party the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was discovered using deepfake videos to attack an adversary running in the Legislative Assembly elections in Delhi. 

BJP President Manoj Tiwari attacked opponent Arvind Kejriwal in three languages, incliding Hindi dialect Hariyanvi, which Tiwari doesn't speak, in an effort to reach Kejriwal's voters.

Political opponents and digital rights advocates lashed out at Tiwari and the BJP for engaging in what they saw as underhand and unethical behaviour. 

The incident, in which the videos were shared in over 5,800 WhatsApp groups and are said to have reached 15 million people, appears to be the first time deepfakes have been used for a political campaign, in India and elsewhere.

System 🤖

Operator: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP); Manoj Tiwari
Developer: The Ideaz Factory
Country: India
Sector: Politics
Purpose: Undermine political opponent
Technology: Deepfake - audio; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning  
Issue: Mis/disinformation; Ethics
Transparency: Governance; Marketing

Investigations, assessments, audits 🧐

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: March 2023