BENGALURU: While it seemed all fun and games to see faces of recent stars morphed on to clips of old movies, adolescent girls believe deepfake is no laughing matter now. As Rashmika Mandanna revealed on the social media platform X on Monday that a deepfake video of hers was being shared online, teenagers and young women TOI spoke with said its impact could be devastating at a time when bullying has shifted online.
The deepfake video flagged by the actor shows a woman donning a black shapewear, excitedly walking into an elevator, but the face was Mandanna’s. The actor said it was extremely scary not only for her, but also for everyone vulnerable to such harm from technology misuse.
The incident has confirmed that deepfakes could turn a nightmarish experience for those targeted.
Engineering student Rishika Prasad, who knew of a photo-morphing incident in 2020 when she was in class 12, said the photo was shared in closed groups, but before it could reach a public space, it was taken down. The person responsible was the girl’s ex and he was apologetic. They resolved it between themselves and the matter didn’t go to the administration, she recalled, adding that although incidents like these are few and far between, they can be devastating to one’s self-esteem.
Concurring with her, another 17-year-old, Preethika (name changed), said: “These messages usually start in smaller closed groups and then get leaked to other groups and posts.” A similar incident took place in Preethika’s school too in the previous year, and the victim was shifted out of school by her parents.

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