The platforms are already struggling to deal with manipulated media, and the technology to create « deepfakes, » which are fabricated media generated by machine-learning-based software, is improving rapidly.
Experts have been sounding the alarm about the coming era of deepfakes for some time, but platforms have yet to craft a clear and unified game plan for thwarting them, beyond some internal policy updates. The threat comes as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and other platforms are already under fire for spreading misinformation globally around vital topics including COVID-19, elections and ethnic strife.
« We have to stop the line of, ‘I don’t want to be the arbiter of truth,' » UC Berkeley professor and deep fake expert Hany Farid told me during anAxios event. « It is nonsense. » Farid notes that all those platforms already draw lines, such as prohibiting pornography, because they see allowing such content as bad for business.