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New Policy by Twitter May Tackle Deepfake Videos: Report

At an event in California on Monday, Vijaya Gadde who is Legal, Public Policy & Trust and Safety Lead at Twitter, also said the company is going to make policy changes around manipulated videos

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A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

Twitter is working on a new policy to tackle deepfake videos on its platform that will address the content which could threaten someone’s physical safety or lead to offline harm.

The micro-blogging platform has asked its users how best the synthetic and manipulated videos can be addressed.

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

“We’re always updating our rules based on how online behaviours change. We’re working on a new policy to address synthetic and manipulated media on Twitter, but first we want to hear from you,’ Twitter said on Monday.

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Twitter is a social media app that encourages short tweets and brief conversations. Pixabay

“We need to consider how synthetic media is shared on Twitter in potentially damaging contexts; we want to listen and consider your perspectives in our policy development process and we want to be transparent about our approach and values,” Twitter Safety posted on its platform.

“Deepfake” techniques, which present realistic AI-generated videos of real people doing and saying fictional things, have significant implications for determining the legitimacy of information presented online.

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In the coming weeks, Twitter will announce a feedback period so that users can help it refine this policy before it goes live.

At an event in California on Monday, Vijaya Gadde who is Legal, Public Policy & Trust and Safety Lead at Twitter, also said the company is going to make policy changes around manipulated videos. (IANS)

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Twitter Bans All Kinds of Political Ads From its Platform

Experts said the onus is now on Facebook which has become a platform for spreading misleading and fake political ads

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Twitter is a social media app that encourages short tweets and brief conversations. Pixabay

Putting pressure on Facebook to follow suit, Twitter has officially banned all kinds of political ads from its platform, weeks after CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the micro-blogging site would no longer allow those ads.

No political content will be promoted from candidates, parties, governments or officials, public accounts committees (PACs) and certain political non-profit groups.

“Twitter globally prohibits the promotion of political content. We have made this decision based on our belief that political message reach should be earned, not bought,” the micro-blogging platform said on Friday.

It defines political content as content that references a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, regulation, directive or judicial outcome.

“Ads that contain references to political content, including appeals for votes, solicitations of financial support, and advocacy for or against any of the above-listed types of political content, are prohibited under this policy,” said Twitter.

On October 31, Dorsey tweeted: “While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics.”

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A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

News of the ban divided America’s political camps for the 2020 election. Brad Parscale, manager of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, said the ban was “yet another attempt by the left to silence Trump and conservatives”.

Twitter said it also does not allow ads of any type by candidates, political parties, or elected or appointed government officials.

“News publishers who meet our exemption criteria may run ads that reference political content and/or prohibited advertisers under our political content policy, but may not include advocacy for or against those topics or advertisers,” it elaborated.

Dorsey had explained his position in a thread of tweets.

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“We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…” he tweeted.

Internet political ads, he said, presented “entirely new challenges to civic discourse”. These challenges included “machine learning-based optimization of messaging”, “micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes”.

Experts said the onus is now on Facebook which has become a platform for spreading misleading and fake political ads. (IANS)