Last month, Twitter announced a brand new policy in an attempt to fight back against deepfakes and other media manipulated into something it isn’t. Deepfakes are on the rise and much of that is down to the advances made in artificial intelligence.
We’re always updating our rules based on how online behaviors 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 Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 21, 2019
Thanks to AI, anyone with a computer, an internet connection, and half an ounce of technical expertise can produce a fake video, image or audio. With social media being an easy target for sharing such media, Twitter is sharing its policy with the public for feedback on how they intend to deal with it.
Deepfakes might seem like fun to some people but, used in the wrong way, for political propaganda, for example, they can be so very dangerous. Earlier this year, Facebook refused to remove a fake video, tweeted by President Trump, showing the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tripping over her own words. Their refusal led to a deepfake of Mark Zuckerberg doing the rounds.
In October, the Senator Intelligence Committee called on the big tech companies to come up with ways to fight deepfakes on their platforms. 11 companies, including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and YouTube were asked to develop plans for industry standards for the “sharing, removal, archiving, and confronting the sharing of synthetic content as soon as possible.”
Twitter plans to seek public feedback on their planned deepfakes policy which states that, when they see manipulated or synthetic material designed to mislead people, they will:
- Highlight it with a notice
- Warn users before Tweets containing such material are shared
- Add links to Twitter Moments or news articles to give people more information about why the specific media is believed to be manipulated.
They also say that they may remove deepfakes that could potentially lead to a person being threatened or harmed.
What the company hasn’t made clear is how they will detect the deepfakes; right now, detection techniques leave a lot to be desired, lagging far behind the methods used to create the media they want to remove They are, however, providing a form for those who want to partner with them in this area to complete.
If you want to have your say on Twitter’s new deepfake policy, you can provide feedback or complete a Twitter survey using the #TwitterPolicyFeedback hashtag. You have until November 27th to give your views.