Twitter drafts rules to curb manipulated media in tweets, seeks public views

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Published: November 11, 2019 9:48:49 PM

Twitter said its feedback window will close on November 27, after which it will review inputs and begin the process of incorporating the policy into its rules as well as train enforcement teams on handling such content. "We will make another announcement at least 30 days before the policy goes into effect," it said.

Twitter, rule, manipulated media, tweets, public view, industry news, tech news“We will make another announcement at least 30 days before the policy goes into effect,” it said.

Twitter on Monday said it is drafting rules for its platform to curb “manipulated media” which aims to mislead people, and said steps could include removing tweets that contain such altered content capable of threatening someone’s physical safety. The microblogging platform has sought public views on the proposed rules that entail placing a notice adjacent to the tweets that indulge in sharing such “deepfakes”.

Twitter also proposes to warn people before they share or like tweets with synthetic or manipulated media, and may even add a link of a news article for example, to allow people to read more about why various sources believe that the media is fake. “In addition, if a Tweet including synthetic or manipulated media is misleading and could threaten someone’s physical safety or lead to other serious harm, we may remove it,” Twitter said in a statement.

Twitter said its feedback window will close on November 27, after which it will review inputs and begin the process of incorporating the policy into its rules as well as train enforcement teams on handling such content. “We will make another announcement at least 30 days before the policy goes into effect,” it said.

Deepfake technology can be misused to manipulate videos to show people saying things they never said. This gained eyeballs in April last year, when Jordan Peele created a video that was doctored to show as if former President Barack Obama was making derogatory remarks about US President Donald Trump. If such content makes its way to social media, the ramifications could be damaging.

Twitter said it routinely engages with experts and researchers. Accordingly, it proposes to define synthetic and manipulated media as “any photo, audio, or video that has been significantly altered or fabricated in a way that intends to mislead people or changes its original meaning”. These are sometimes referred to as deepfakes or shallowfakes, it added. Twitter said it has called for public feedback as it wants to ensure that — as an open service — its rules reflect the voice of the people who use Twitter.

“Deliberate attempts to mislead or confuse people through manipulated media, undermine the integrity of the conversation,” it added.

The feedback has been sought through a brief survey that is available in English, Hindi, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese. For other languages, Twitter said its team is working closely with local non-governmental organisations and policy-makers to ensure their perspectives are represented. It also invited users to tweet their feedback.

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