Facebook is full of many forms of malicious fake content, but perhaps the most nefarious are so-called “deepfakes” — computer-generated videos that are designed to mimic people and appear real. They’re often used to impersonate politicians and make it appear as if they’ve said something they haven’t. That’s why it was so encouraging this week when Facebook announced it was cracking down on deepfake videos in the lead-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
According to its new policies, Facebook will now begin removing manipulated videos that have been edited “beyond adjustments for clarity or quality” or if they would “likely mislead” someone into believing that the subject of a video had said something they hadn’t. The company also said it will take down videos that are the product of artificial intelligence or machine learning that make videos appear to be authentic. Facebook said it’s also focused on catching the individuals who produce these alarming videos.
“Our enforcement strategy against misleading manipulated media also benefits from our efforts to root out the people behind these efforts,” Facebook wrote in a blog post announcing the new policy. “Just last month, we identified and removed a network using AI-generated photos to conceal their fake accounts. Our teams continue to proactively hunt for fake accounts and other coordinated inauthentic behavior.”
It’s easy to criticize Facebook’s policies for removing fake content, but this is undeniably a win for people concerned with the amount of it polluting their news feeds.
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