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Facebook, Instagram Bans Deepfake Contents From Their Platforms

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Facebook and Instagram ban deepfake contents on their platform. Deepfakes are artificial intelligence (AI) modified videos. The platforms say that such contents are deceitful.


Facebook explained in a blog post that these videos distort reality. They also present a “significant challenge” for the technology industry.


Facebook ban deepfake
Deepfake image replacing the face of Game of Thrones actor, Kit Harington.


Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, made the announcement. The blog post said that Facebook and Instagram will remove misleading videos on its platform for the following reasons:


  • If the poster edited or synthesised the content in ways that an average person would not immediately recognise. Thus, this would likely deceive someone into thinking that the video’s subject said words that they did not actually say.


  • If the poster used artificial intelligence or machine learning to make the content. This tech merges, replaces or superimposes content onto a video, making it appear to be authentic.”


In September 2019, Facebook also made a pledge of $10m funding to improve deepfake detection technologies.


Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has also been featured in a deepfake video. The clip features a computer-generated version of Zuckerberg crediting a secretive organisation for the success of his social network.

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A computer scientist, William Tunstall-Pedoe, who sold his AI company to Amazon, told BBC News that Facebook deserves credit for trying to tackle the “difficult area”.


“The fact the video is fake and intended to be misleading is the key thing for me,” he said.


He also added that:


“Whether sophisticated AI techniques are used or less sophisticated techniques isn’t relevant.”


Facebook says it will also work with academia, government, and other businesses to expose those behind deepfakes.


The tech giant says that it would continue to remove all videos that include n****y, graphic violence, state suppression, and hate speech. Something it has been doing for years now.


Experts, however, say the policy covers only misinformation produced using AI. This means the platform will still allow “shallow fakes”, videos made using conventional editing tools. Even when they are just as misleading.


People have also recently criticised the social media giants for their decision to allow politically motivated posts even when they are clearly false. Facebook in November 2019 allegedly stated that it allows political ads.


The upcoming elections are likely causing all these tensions surrounding contents.


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