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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Deepfakes and AI: Addressing the potency of artificial intelligence in online harassment

The easy creation of deepfakes and other deceitful content makes the problem of cyberbullying much worse

Update : 04 Oct 2023, 11:33 AM

The threat of cyberbullying continues to grow with the advancement of technology. Certain users, or “trolls” on social media are now using AI-powered tools to spread hateful remarks and target vulnerable individuals more easily. Girls, in particular, often face a higher risk of cyberbullying and its negative effects. 

Al-powered technologies have made it simpler for social media trolls to pick easy targets and spread false information. Deepfake technology, for example, is one of the Al-powered tools used in cyberbullying. By creating phoney videos or photos using the difficult-to-detect deepfake technology, trolls can effortlessly spread false information or damage someone's reputation. Additionally, hateful remarks are being sent via chatbots on social media networks.

For victims of cyberbullying in Bangladesh, there are a number of legal remedies available. Under the terms of the Digital Security Act of 2018, anyone who has been the victim of cyberbullying may get in touch with the police and file a criminal complaint. Furthermore, Article 33(b) of our constitution guarantees everyone the right to privacy, and Article 102(1) of our constitution allows anybody to initiate a case in the High Court Division if that right is violated.

Despite the existence of laws against cyberbullying in Bangladesh, there are still challenges in effectively addressing and preventing this issue. Many cyberbullying cases pose difficulties when it comes to taking legal action. Unfortunately, victims often have to endure a barrage of hate comments and harassment, while the legal process itself can be time-consuming. This can have a detrimental impact on individuals, leaving them feeling overwhelmed and helpless.

In a recent study, a major global mobile phone company discovered that 49% of Bangladeshi schoolchildren had experienced some form of cyberbullying. This finding indicates that young people are becoming more and more susceptible to this type of harassment.

Also, a press conference was held at Dhaka Reporters Unity to discuss the findings. In 2022, 52.21% of all recorded online offenses, according to the report, were related to cyberbullying. In these situations, pornographic content, lewd communications, and offensive social media posts were all implicated.

Cyberbullying has been a problem for a while now, but the emergence of AI takes it to a whole new level. In a recent incident that shook the online world, a young girl fell victim to a malicious act where her face was manipulated into a nude video, subsequently leading to a barrage of harassment, blame, and hateful comments on various social platforms. This alarming incident serves as a wake-up call, highlighting the urgent need to address the growing menace of AI-driven online harassment in our society.

Additionally, as AI technology continues to improve at a rapid rate, we are being pushed to a precipice where the disturbing potential of unrestricted online harassment is all too real. 

The easy creation of deepfakes and other deceitful content seriously endangers personal privacy, one's reputation in society, and even mental well-being. To avoid this looming disaster, we cannot pretend to be unaware; instead, we must address it with strong determination before it causes irreparable harm to many lives. 

Cyberbullying has always been a major concern, and we need to be cautious about giving AI more power that could potentially make the situation even worse. It's important to take pro-active steps now to prevent things from getting out of hand. 

In order to solve this issue, it is essential that the government and pertinent agencies give cases of cyberbullying top priority, provide enough funds, give law enforcement employees specialized training, and raise public awareness through campaigns and educational efforts. 

Moreover, collaboration between government agencies, schools, organizations, and online platforms can contribute to creating a safer digital environment for all. 

We can reduce the impact of cyberbullying and protect individuals from its destructive effects by implementing thorough measures and establishing a culture of online respect and accountability. 

Also, those who engage in teasing, making fun, and sharing someone's nude videos are indeed guilty and should be held accountable for their actions under law. It's high time we put a stop to such behaviour. 

We need to realize the impact it has on individuals and the potential harm it can cause to their loved ones. At the end of the day, we're all connected to someone who could be the next target. Make the internet a safer place for our mothers, sisters, friends, relatives by speaking out against cyberbullying.

Israt Jahan Orne is a freelance contributor.

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