Facebook announces crackdown on deepfake videos

David Prior's picture

Facebook has announced a crackdown on videos modified by artificial intelligence, known as deepfakes.

The tech giant said that deepfakes - or videos that use artificial intelligence or “deep learning” techniques to distort reality - represented a "significant challenge" for the industry.

It will now remove videos that have been altered in ways that “would likely mislead someone into thinking that a subject of the video said words that they did not actually say”. Deepfakes often feature celebrities or politicians, with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg featuring in one notorious example.

"There are people who engage in media manipulation in order to mislead," wrote Monika Bickert, vice president of global policy management at Facebook, in a blog.

“While these videos are still rare on the internet, they present a significant challenge for our industry and society as their use increases.

“We are strengthening our policy toward misleading manipulated videos that have been identified as deepfakes... 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.”

Bickert said videos would now be removed from Facebook and Instagram if they were edited in a way that made them appear that someone “said words that they did not actually say”, and also if they were created using artificial intelligence that replaced content in a video, “making it appear to be authentic”.

Facebook staff and independent fact-checkers will now be used to judge a video's authenticity.