After Facebook, Twitter moves to ban deepfakes on its platform

Elias Hubbard
February 5, 2020

The move comes amid growing concerns over "deepfake" videos altered using artificial intelligence, along with other kinds of manipulation to deceive social media users.

Roth said Twitter would generally apply a warning label to the Pelosi video under the new approach, but added that the content could be removed if the text in the tweet or other contextual signals suggested it was likely to cause harm.

Doctored or manipulated images and videos that circulate around on social media is a big problem. To identify manipulated media, it will draw on assistance from crowd-sourced content reports as well as outside partners.

These rules are likely to have a huge impact on memes and result in many popular memes being labeled with a warning or censored by Twitter.

Under the policy, for example, doctored videos of former USA vice president Joe Biden and of Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi that caused recent controversies on social media would violate the new rule, according to Twitter executives.

Under the new rules, which Twitter described as a "living document" that could change over time, the company says it can take a range of actions, depending on the video and the context in which it's shared.

Last May, a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was shared on Facebook that made it look as though the congresswoman was slurring her speech. Facebook eventually labeled the video as fake and cut its distribution, but took more than a day to do so, a delay Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg later called an "execution mistake".

Details: Starting next month, Twitter will be working to identify media that, according to a Tuesday blog post, has been "significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated". It wouldn't have been removed. Otherwise, it can be fact-checked by the company's third-party fact checkers, and may receive a label and limited distribution.

What's next: Twitter will start enforcing the policy March 5.

YouTube said earlier this week it would remove any content that has been technically manipulated or doctored and may pose a "serious risk of egregious harm, ' while TikTok, owned by China's ByteDance, issued a broad ban on 'misleading information" last month.

"Our focus on this policy is to look at the outcome, not how it was achieved", Roth said.

The policy was announced after Twitter asked for comments a year ago on ways to reduce "synthetic and manipulated media" on the online platform that could deceive people during election campaigns or provoke violence or physical harm.

Threats to the physical safety of a person or group. The congresswoman has since called Facebook "shameful" for its handling of misinformation.

"This isn't a deepfake rule", she said.

The company admits that this new policy will be a challenge and that it will probably make errors along the way, but it's "committed to doing this right" and wants to enable fair democratic participation on its network.

Twitter users have slammed these new rules with prolific meme-maker Carpe Donktum saying: "This rule will be used to remove memes that you [Twitter] don't like".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER