Giorgia Meloni Seeks Compensation Over Deepfake Videos

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Giorgia Meloni Seeks Compensation Over Deepfake Videos

| Updated: March 21, 2024 13:54

Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, has filed a lawsuit seeking €100,000 in compensation following the online circulation of deepfake videos featuring her likeness, according to a BBC report.

Meloni is set to testify in a Sassari court on July 2. The videos, allegedly created by a 40-year-old man and his 73-year-old father, replaced Meloni’s face with that of an adult film actor. Both men are currently under investigation and face defamation charges.

The authorities were able to track down the suspects by tracing the mobile device used to upload the videos. The videos, which were uploaded to a US-based adult content website, reportedly amassed millions of views over several months. Interestingly, these videos were circulated before Meloni’s appointment as Prime Minister in 2022.

Maria Giulia Marongiu, Meloni’s legal representative, described the compensation as symbolic. If awarded, Meloni plans to donate the sum to a fund supporting victims of male violence. Marongiu stated that the compensation claim aims to encourage women who have been victims of such abuses of power to press charges.

Under Italian law, certain defamation cases can lead to criminal charges and even potential imprisonment.

Deepfake videos are a form of synthetic media where a person’s likeness in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s. This technology has also been misused in India, where deepfake videos of Bollywood actors, including Rashmika Mandanna, Katrina Kaif, and Nora Fatehi, have been circulated on social media.

In November 2023, a deepfake video featuring the face of British-Indian influencer Zara Patel, edited to appear as Bollywood actor Rashmika Mandanna, went viral. A B-Tech graduate from Andhra Pradesh was arrested by Delhi Police in January for creating the video.

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