Age of Disinformation

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The global world witnesses resounding growth in technological advancements in recent times. This tech-based revolution has set new precedents of human dependency on technology to manage the livelihood in an effective and efficient manner. Notwithstanding the countless technological advancement benefits, it has also posed heinous challenges to the human security, and privacy. Amongst all, Deepfakes has emerged as one of the most novel and advanced forms of misinformation becoming a real challenge in the communicative environment due to their spread through online news and social media platforms.
Pakistan with no exception over the past few years is also witnessing a drastic rise in the deepfake news culture. With widespread usage, it turned to be a common practice. As matter of fact it carries a higher potential for political mud-slinging and false accusation, controlling the impressionable minds of the masses by inflicting them with unethical pleasure and indoctrinating those who are susceptible enough not to differentiate if it’s real or fake, further polarizing the entire nation grappled with intimating challenges. Indeed, the growing deep fake news culture in Pakistan is posing heinous challenges to the government as well as the common people. The Psychological indoctrination, the rise of intolerance, mistrust in the society, fake propaganda, and xenophobia are considered as major challenges of disinformation leading to institutional trust deficit. In addition to disrupting the lives of individuals, deep fake’s news could sweep societal implications in the entire country. While today masses in Pakistan also tend to trust video and audio content, deep fakes may undermine public trust in these media. One of the major setback deepfake news has undermined our trust in local media or falsely influences common citizen’s beliefs and it may also become more commonplace and mundane as people use deepfake technology to improve their day-to-day communication. Deepfakes playing upon political divisions, or even inciting violence, perhaps not surprisingly, deepfakes have already been leveraged to destabilize governments and political processes.
In political spectrum of Pakistan, Deepfakes are being used to blackmail, discredit or humiliate pose challenges not only to those in public positions, but to any vulnerable group, especially those who are already marginalized. This myopic approach to an extent has created contradictions with in the governing state institutions and it has also undermined the prospects of cohesion and unity at large. For instance amid intensifying embroiling political turmoil and economic soft patch, the country is plugged with blatant campaigns are being deceitfully launched to undermine the sanctity.
Deefakes news has become a predominant trend of print, electronic and social media. This alarming development holds mayhem repercussions for social and political fabric along with posing threats to national security and integrity. Nonetheless, there is the potential for deepfake news to aggravate existing societal fissures among the civilian population of Pakistan and it and extent also challenges the existing cohesion and harmony among the state’s key stakeholders.
Given how easily deepfakes can combine fake narratives and information with fabricated sources of authority, they have an unprecedented potential to mislead, misinform and manipulate a wholly new meaning. Indeed deepfakes introduced something called the “liar’s dividend.” As people grow increasingly aware of the capabilities of deepfake technology, it’s easier to believe the denials of a person, who claims they are simply being framed. In broader spectrum, beyond domestic politics, deepfake technologies pose a threat to Pakistan’s diplomacy and national security. As Pakistan is “ill-prepared” for the wave of deepfakes that Indian disinformation campaigns could unleash.
Although The effects of disinformation cannot be eliminated, but with increasing awareness of deepfakes and the consistent use of verification tools across major companies and outlets, it will at least be clear more quickly if content has been manipulated or not. Furthermore, the development of verification tools for personal use would also be a worthwhile option to explore by private companies or possibly media organizations. Considering the number of apps that can be used to create deepfakes, perhaps apps could help users determine the authenticity of video or audio content, giving individuals the option to fact-check their own information on their own time.
To conclude, Pakistan as a state must ensure heightened awareness and the designation of specific, trusted news sources around election periods will also be necessary, as during times of transition it can be expected that disinformation will be employed by both foreign and domestic actors. The emerging threat of deepfakes could have an unprecedented impact on this governance system, raising serious questions about the integrity of democratic elections, policy-making and our society at large. Pakistan must formulate a soft-law framework should be the approach in any context, as the technology is moving far too quickly for traditional methods to follow it. We do not necessarily need a technology or regulatory paradigm change in order to disarm deepfakes. Instead, communities and individuals can also take action directly by setting higher standards for how we create and interact with political content online ourselves.
Pakistan with no exception over the past few years is also witnessing a drastic rise in the deepfake news culture. With widespread usage, it turned to be a common practice. As matter of fact it carries a higher potential for political mud-slinging and false accusation, controlling the impressionable minds of the masses by inflicting them with unethical pleasure and indoctrinating those who are susceptible enough not to differentiate if it’s real or fake, further polarizing the entire nation grappled with intimating challenges. Indeed, the growing deep fake news culture in Pakistan is posing heinous challenges to the government as well as the common people, in particular the youth that is being indoctrinated and polarized and often exploited by the anti-state elements.

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