Fact Check: Morphed Video Showing Intoxicated Punjab CM Goes Viral, Case Registered
In the latest incident of cybercrime, Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, became the target in an altered video which made it seem like he was intoxicated. In the video, the CM’s voice has been knowingly slowed down which gives the impression that he is inebriated. The fake video went viral and tarnished the image of the CM, upon which Punjab police took immediate action, and the cyber cell registered a case under relevant sections of the IT Act and Indian Penal Code (IPC).
As reported by NDTV, the video was “doctored” and shared by an unknown person, the only information known about the person is username “Harsh Sofat” (@harshsofat9). The cyber cell investigations have found that ‘Tik Tok’, a Chinese app that allows users to alter sounds of recorded media was used to make the video and then shared on a Whatsapp group and a Facebook page named ‘Majha Akali Page’. The police are currently trying to remove the fake video from all possible social media sites while cyber cell investigation is still going on to find the culprit.
The detailed investigation by the cyber cell is focusing on the people connected to the Tik Tok account which were used to make the video and the accounts which shared the malicious video to find out the suspect.
Section 67 of the IT Act defines punishment for publishing or sharing of obscene material in electronic form, under this section, the sentence for a first conviction is imprisonment of up to three years and fine up to five lakhs, and on second conviction the imprisonment term is up to five years with fine up to ten lakhs.
Section 500 of the IPC defines the punishment for defaming another person with either imprisonment for up to two years or fine or both together.
Section 505 of the IPC defines the punishment for cases of “public mischief”, publishing or circulating any rumour which may cause difficulty in the duty of a soldier, officer or any as such, the person responsible shall be punished with imprisonment up to 6 years or fine, or with both.
The Logical Indian Take
In a world where social media and internet connectivity plays a significant role in our lives, incidents like these serve to remind us that there are always two sides to a coin. Although the need of internet and socializing is undeniable there needs to be some boundaries such that incidents like this do not become headlines every other day. Some restrictions need to be put up to stop the sharing of malicious content because once something goes viral then it is next to impossible to eradicate it completely, it may be removed from all online sources but still may be saved into devices and can be circulated once again when people start doing away with the previous incident.
Fake videos, doctored clips and destroying the image of highly respected individuals is becoming news every once a while and the sense of getting away with it is promoting the need to do it even more. People do not understand that every activity they are doing on the internet is leaving some form of trace which can be used to backtrack their every move if they are ever involved in any crime. Hence, the suspects get captured, if not immediately then later for sure. The need for awareness about rules regarding cybercrime is increasing day by day, and the introduction of new regulations is necessary with changing times. The blessing in disguise is that with the advancement in technology it has become easier to find out which media has been doctored, so the targeted person’s image is not destroyed entirely.