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Facebook to Tackle the Problem of Manipulated Media on its Platform

Facebook cracks down on deepfake videos

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Facebook has announced tough policies against the spread of manipulated media on its platform. Pixabay

Alarmed at the growing forged or deepfake videos on its platform, Facebook has announced tough policies against the spread of manipulated media on its platform.

The company said that going forward, it will remove misleading manipulated media if it has been edited or synthesized beyond adjustments for clarity or quality “in ways that aren’t apparent to an average person and would likely mislead someone into thinking that a subject of the video said words that they did not actually say”.

“If it is the product of artificial intelligence or machine learning that merges, replaces or superimposes content onto a video, making it appear to be authentic.
This policy does not extend to content that is parody or satire, or video that has been edited solely to omit or change the order of words,” Monika Bickert, Vice President, Global Policy Management, said in a statement on Monday.

“Deepfakes” are video forgeries that make people appear to be saying things they never did, like the popular forged videos of Zuckerberg and that of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that went viral last year.

Facebook said it is driving conversations with more than 50 global experts with technical, policy, media, legal, civic and academic backgrounds to inform its policy development and improve the science of detecting manipulated media.

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Facebook said it is driving conversations with more than 50 global experts with technical, policy, media, legal, civic and academic backgrounds to inform its policy development. Pixabay

“Consistent with our existing policies, audio, photos or videos, whether a deepfake or not, will be removed from Facebook if they violate any of our other Community Standards including those governing nudity, graphic violence, voter suppression and hate speech,” said Bickert.

Videos that don’t meet these standards for removal are still eligible for review by one of Facebook’s independent third-party fact-checkers, which include over 50 partners worldwide fact-checking in over 40 languages.

“If a photo or video is rated false or partly false by a fact-checker, we significantly reduce its distribution in News Feed and reject it if it’s being run as an ad. And critically, people who see it, try to share it, or have already shared it, will see warnings alerting them that it’s false,” said Facebook.

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The social media platform said it has partnered with Reuters to help newsrooms worldwide to identify deepfakes and manipulated media through a free online training course.

“News organizations increasingly rely on third parties for large volumes of images and video, and identifying manipulated visuals is a significant challenge. This programme aims to support newsrooms trying to do this work,” said Facebook. (IANS)

 

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Digital Media Giants Threaten to Suspend Services in Pakistan

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A coalition comprising digital media giants Facebook, Google and Twitter have threatened to suspend services in Pakistan. Pixabay

A coalition comprising digital media giants Facebook, Google and Twitter (among others) have spoken out against the new regulations approved by the Pakistani government for social media, threatening to suspend services in the country if the rules were not revised, it was reported.

In a letter to Prime Minster Imran Khan earlier this month, the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) called on his government to revise the new sets of rules and regulations for social media, The News International reported on Friday.

“The rules as currently written would make it extremely difficult for AIC Members to make their services available to Pakistani users and businesses,” reads the letter, referring to the Citizens Protection Rules (Against Online Harm).

The new set of regulations makes it compulsory for social media companies to open offices in Islamabad, build data servers to store information and take down content upon identification by authorities.

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According to the law, authorities will be able to take action against any citizen of Pakistan found guilty of targeting state institutions at home and abroad on social media. Pixabay

Failure to comply with the authorities in Pakistan will result in heavy fines and possible termination of services. It said that the regulations were causing “international companies to re-evaluate their view of the regulatory environment in Pakistan, and their willingness to operate in the country”.

Referring to the rules as “vague and arbitrary in nature”, the AIC said that it was forcing them to go against established norms of user privacy and freedom of expression.

“We are not against regulation of social media, and we acknowledge that Pakistan already has an extensive legislative framework governing online content. However, these Rules fail to address crucial issues such as internationally recognized rights to individual expression and privacy,” The News International quoted the letter as saying.

According to the law, authorities will be able to take action against Pakistanis found guilty of targeting state institutions at home and abroad on social media. The law will also help the law enforcement authorities obtain access to data of accounts found involved in suspicious activities.

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It would be the said authority’s prerogative to identify objectionable content to the social media platforms to be taken down. In case of failure to comply within 15 days, it would have the power to suspend their services or impose a fine worth up to 500 million Pakistani rupees ($3 million). (IANS)