Social Media Platforms like Facebook or YouTube Might Not Be Ready for Deepfakes

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi showed up in a modified video that attacked her integrity, her words sounded rough and confused. But it’s the reaction by Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, which inflamed the spread of the video, which provoked animosity about how tech companies should deal with manipulated content.
On 22nd May, a Facebook Page called Politics WatchDog posted the video, which was slowed to give the impression that the Democratic legislator from California was mumbling her words. It quickly made its way to all three social networks.
In an early taste of the threat they could face during the 2020 US election, each had different responses.
Facebook permitted the video to remain on its service but showed articles by fact-checkers. YouTube pulled it down and Twitter let it stay on its platform.
The various responses accentuate the challenge that manipulated video, and misinformation more extensively, pose for the companies. The social networks have regulations against posting deliberately misleading information, but they also try to boost free expression. Finding a balance is becoming difficult, especially as what promises to be a particularly bruising election season heats up.
The problem would likely worsen. Deepfake software is already available online. Early deepfakes depended on hundreds or thousands of photographs of the person being faked to get authentic results. As politicians lead public lives, plenty of photographs are available.
But even that need is changing. Samsung recently stated that it’s developed a technique that permits almost realistic fake videos to be developed from a single image. The approach would almost surely be reverse-engineered, making it easier to make up misleading video.
Deepfake videos have been made of Kim Kardashian, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and former President Barack Obama. The quality of these fake videos has made US intelligence agencies concerned, as the videos could be used to interfere in elections both in the US and in allied nations.

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