Deepfakes of Indian TV anchor, famous doctor used to promote dubious joint pain oil

By: Rahul Adhikari
February 21 2024

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Deepfakes of Indian TV anchor, famous doctor used to promote dubious joint pain oil

Social media post that uses a deepfake video to promote medicine for joint pain. (Source: X/Wikipedia/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

This video of news anchor Anjana Om Kashyap and Dr. Devi Shetty has been altered digitally, and their voices fabricated. No such interview exists.

Claim ID 91838cb4

What is the claim?

A video featuring Aaj Tak news anchor Anjana Om Kashyap and renowned Indian cardiac surgeon Dr. Devi Shetty has been making the rounds on Facebook. This clip, masquerading as a promotional advertisement for a joint pain relief medication, juxtaposes videos of Kashyap and Dr. Shetty, misleadingly suggesting an interview format.

The video, overlaid with the Aaj Tak news channel logo, starts with Kashyap purportedly asking in Hindi, “Is it true that your new medicine guarantees a permanent cure for knee, back, and arm pain in just two weeks?” Seemingly in response, Dr. Shetty says, “Do you wish to eradicate joint pain? My new medication can assist. I guarantee that within three days, you'll forget the pain ever existed. In 14 days, your joints and bones will fully recuperate, ridding you of pain, swelling, mobility issues, arthritis, and joint pain. A single daily dose of this medicine can prevent joint-related diseases. Over 30,000 individuals in India have utilized this medication and have successfully overcome joint pain.”

An advertisement, offering a buy-one-get-one deal for the medication, appears beneath the clips. Shared from a page named ‘Adiwasi Reliefff,’ the video has attracted over 11,000 reactions and 539 shares.

Screenshot of the viral post. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, we discovered that the video is a deepfake, with the audio altered using artificial intelligence (AI) to falsely imply endorsements from Kashyap and Dr. Shetty for the medication. The original videos did not contain any mention of this purported medication.

What we found about the videos

A reverse image search on keyframes from both clips revealed that Dr. Shetty’s segment was sourced from a Narayana Health YouTube video dated May 17, 2023. In this video, marking World Hypertension Day, Dr. Shetty – the founder and chairman of Narayana Health, a chain of medical centers – discusses high blood pressure. The audio track in this clip differs significantly from the viral video. While the audio has been manipulated, the video and Dr. Shetty’s lip movements remain unaltered.

A similar discrepancy was visible in Kashyap's clip, where the audio overlay does not match her mouth movements, indicating that the original audio was replaced. Despite extensive searches, the original version of Kashyap's clip remains unidentified, and no evidence was found of Kashyap promoting the medication. Logically Facts has also contacted Kashyap for clarity. This story will be updated if and when we receive a response. 

Audio generated using AI, says expert

Based on our findings about the audio, Logically Facts contacted Mayank Vatsa, a professor of Computer Science at IIT Jodhpur, for more information on its nature.

Vatsa employed four deep-learning models to assess the authenticity of the audio. The results obtained from these four separate models strongly suggest that the audio was artificially generated using AI technology. Each of the four models demonstrated confidence scores exceeding 0.9, with only one instance of a model registering a confidence score of 0.714 for Kashyap’s audio.

The overall assessment labeled the audio as fake, with a high confidence score of 0.934.

The model’s report about Dr. Devi Shetty’s voice in the video.

The model’s report about Anjana Om Kashyap’s voice in the video.

What about the oil?

The viral post's ‘Shop Now’ button links to an e-commerce site selling ORIGINAL™ ADIVASI PAIN RELIEF OIL.

The product and the product information, as seen on the website. (Source: Screenshots)

The product description claims that it is certified under Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), and Ayush Ministry, all three of which are reputable bodies related to different aspects of manufacturing, food safety, and traditional medicine. However, the product page of this website does not cite the manufacturer or company name.

GMP ensures quality and safety in pharmaceutical and food production, and HACCP is a systematic approach to identifying and controlling food hazards. Ayush has its own set of principles, practices, and guidelines for healthcare. All these organizations issue licenses to companies to manufacture products with their respective certificates. We reviewed the certified companies lists for GMP, HACCP, and Ayush but didn’t find the name of any such oil in any of them.

We then contacted Dr. Zakir Hossain, Resident doctor at Raiganj Govt. Medical College & Hospital, for clarity on the benefits of such a medicine. He informed Logically Facts that the medicine lacks research to support such claims, stating, “I don't know of any such medicine, and we do not prescribe any such oil for joint pain treatment. We only prescribe authorized medicines.” 

Furthermore, we could not find any scientific studies conducted on the oil.

Website fakes information

The website selling this oil appeared suspicious, lacking information about the parent company, office address, and contact details. Moreover, it raised concerns as it made false claims regarding the certifications of this alleged pain relief oil. 

We noted that the website quoted Dr. Rajesh Khanna, a supposed orthopedic specialist, who had purportedly endorsed the product. 

A photo of 'Dr. Rajesh Khanna', a supposed orthopedic specialist, who has purportedly endorsed the product. (Source: Screenshot) 

However, upon conducting a reverse search on the doctor's image provided on the website, we found that the photo is actually of one Dr. Avinash Kumar Dubey, Consultant & Interventional Nephrologist with the Department Of Nephrology, Raj Hospitals, Ranchi, Jharkhand. Dubey’s image was being misused to portray him as an orthopedic doctor with a fake name and a fake review of the oil and its benefits. 

A website about Dr. Avinash Kumar Dubey. (Source: Screenshot)

Logically Facts also contacted Dr. Dubey for further clarification. He confirmed his identity to Logically Facts, adding that he is a nephrologist in Ranchi and not an orthopedic doctor. He said, “I’m not associated with these websites or medicines. Someone mentioned something like this to me earlier, but I ignored it. The images on the websites are mine but have been used without permission, and I have never heard of any such medicine. I have not taken any money from anyone for any such promotion.”

The verdict

Two videos of Aaj Tak anchor Anjana Om Kashyap and Dr. Devi Shetty have been manipulated using AI, and the claims of the promoted medicine were found to be false. No scientific evidence supports the claim that the drug can cure joint pain. Deepfake audio was used to promote the product on social media. Therefore, we have marked this claim as fake.

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