As Facebook Bans Deepfakes, TikTok Prepares a Deepfakes Feature

Facebook Bans Deepfakes
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Facebook Bans Deepfakes
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Photo Credit: Facebook

Despite refusing to ban political advertising, Facebook says it will take action against deepfake videos.

Deepfake videos are heavily manipulated using AI to make people say things they did not actually say — or do things they’d never do.

The official position on manipulated videos was revealed in a Facebook blog post on Monday night. The blog post says the ban will apply to any video that has been altered in such a way as to “mislead someone into thinking a subject of the video said words they did not actually say.”

Facebook is banning deepfakes to fight misinformation online. AI manipulated videos will be barred from appearing in advertising, too.

While the policy surrounding deepfakes will help to slow misinformation, it won’t stem the tide entirely. Videos can be edited to cut words or change the order to manipulate the context without using AI at all. Facebook’s new deepfake policy does not extend to videos made this way, or those that are parody or satire.

Yesterday we reported on an unreleased feature found in the latest TikTok app update. Code referencing a Face Swap feature allows people to make their own deepfakes after a multi-angle biometric scan. TikTok spokespeople said the code is leftover code from Douyin, but we’re not so sure.

The watchdog firm who discovered the deepfakes feature noted that the code was in both Douyin and TikTok updates.

A massive disinformation campaign may be underway as 2020 kicks off. Facebook may be doing its part to stem culpability for these videos, but it will be hard to stop them. Already we’ve seen edited videos of Nancy Pelosi, altered to look as though her speech is slurred.

Facebook refused to remove that edited video, saying it has subjected the footage to its fact-checking and has ‘reduced its reach on the social network.’ But reducing the reach of viral disinformation doesn’t go far enough. 1% of Facebook’s 2.37 billion accounts is 23 million. The 2016 election was decided by just 0.09% of all votes cast during the election, with roughly 107,000 votes across three states deciding the outcome.