Some news organisations, including the BBC, New York Times and Buzzfeed have made their own “deepfake” videos, ostensibly to spread awareness about the techniques. Those videos, while of varying quality, have all contained clear statements that they are fake.
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Facebook’s new ban targets videos that are manipulated to make it appear someone said words they didn’t actually say.
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Released on Friday, the Zao app went viral as Chinese users seized on the chance to see themselves act out scenes from well-known movies using deepfake technology, which has already prompted concerns elsewhere over potential misuse.
As of Monday afternoon it remained the top free download in China, according to the app market data provider App Annie.
Concerns over deepfakes have grown since the 2016 US election campaign, which saw wide use of online misinformation, according to US investigations.
In June, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said the social network was struggling to find ways to deal with deepfake videos, saying they may constitute “a completely different category” of misinformation than anything faced before.
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PISA scores were recently released, and results of the international test revealed that only 14 percent of U.S. students were able to reliably distinguish between fact and opinion.
according to Pew Research Center, 68 percent of American adults get their news from social media—platforms where opinion is often presented as fact. While Facebook and other social media outlets have pledged to tackle fake news, the results are lackluster.
Even on seemingly-serious websites, credibility is not a given. When I was in middle and high school, we were taught that we could trust .org websites. Now, with the practice of astroturfing, responsible consumers of information must dig deeper and go further to verify the legitimacy of information. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/astroturfing
Experiences like these, where students are challenged to consider the validity of information and sort what’s real from what’s fake, would better prepare them not only to be savvier consumers of news, but also to someday digest contradictory information to make complicated decisions about their own health care, finances or civic engagement.
freely available resources to help educators teach how to vet information and think critically about real-world topics.
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deep fake: definition
What are “deepfakes?”
That’s the nickname given to computer-created artificial videos or other digital material in which images are combined to create new footage that depicts events that never actually happened. The term originates from the online message board Reddit.
One initial use of the fake videos was in amateur-created pornography, in which the faces of famous Hollywood actresses were digitally placed onto that of other performers to make it appear as though the stars themselves were performing.
How difficult is it to create fake media?
It can be done with specialized software, experts say, the same way that editing programs such as Photoshop have made it simpler to manipulate still images. And specialized software itself isn’t necessary for what have been dubbed “shallow fakes” or “cheap fakes.”
Researchers also say they are working on new ways to speed up systems aimed at helping establish when video or audio has been manipulated. But it’s been called a “cat and mouse” game in which there may seldom be exact parity between fabrication and detection.
At least one state has considered legislation that would outlaw distributing election-oriented fake videos.
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The Psychology Of Fake News
March 27, 201810:21 AM ET TANIA LOMBROZO
During the past two years, fake news has been a frequent topic of real news, with articles considering the role of social media in spreading fake news, the advent of fake videos and the role these play in the political process.
Lazer, D. M. J., Baum, M. A., Benkler, Y., Berinsky, A. J., Greenhill, K. M., Menczer, F., … Zittrain, J. L. (2018). The science of fake news. Science
(6380), 1094–1096. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aao2998
Baum and David Lazer, M. A. (2017, May 11). Social media must be held to account on fake news. Winnipeg Free Press (MB). p. A7.
In a paper
published in March in the journal Science
, David Lazer, Matthew Baum and 14 co-authors consider what we do and don’t know about the science of fake news. They define fake news as “fabricated information that mimics news media content in form but not in organizational process or intent,”
and they go on to discuss problems at multiple levels: individual, institutional and societal. What do we know about individuals’ exposure to fake news and its influence upon them? How can Internet platforms help limit the dissemination of fake news? And most fundamentally: How can we succeed in creating and perpetuating a culture that values and promotes truth?
, professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University, and one of the paper’s 16 authors. Sloman is also author of The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone
, a book about the merits and failings of our collaborative minds, published in 2017 with co-author Philip Fernbach.
Sloman, S. A. (2017). The knowledge illusion: Why we never think alone. New York: Riverhead Books.
Election Strife, Protest And Noise: In 2017, Russia Cranked Up The Volume
The Russian Facebook scandal damages liberals as much as the right
The Republicans might have been tarnished by the St Petersburg troll factory, but Democratic fantasies about social media were rubbished in the process
The ads in question were memes, manufactured and posted to a number of bluntly named, pseudo-American Facebook
accounts in 2016 by workers at a troll farm in St Petersburg, Russia. There were thousands of these ads, it seems, plus parallel efforts on Instagram and Twitter. Between them, they reached over 100 million people.
The memes were big news
for a while because they showed what Russian interference in the 2016 election actually looked like, in vivid color. Eventually the story faded, though, in part because it was superseded by other stories, but also, I think, because the Russian ad story was deeply distasteful to both sides of our atrophied political debate.
The ads were clumsily written. They were rife with spelling errors and poor grammar. Their grasp of American history was awful. And over them all
hovered a paranoid fear that the powerful were scheming to flip the world upside-down in the most outlandish ways: to turn our country over to the undocumented … to punish the hardworking … to crack down on patriots and Christians … to enact Sharia law right here at home.
The social media platforms aren’t neutral arbiters, selflessly serving the needs of society. As is all too obvious now, they are monopolies that manipulate us in a hundred different ways, selecting our news, steering us towards what we need to buy. The corporate entities behind them wield enormous power in Washington, too, filling
Democratic campaign coffers and keeping the revolving door turning
for trusted servants. Those who don’t comply get disciplined.
Internet watchdog demands explanation after Ramzan Kadyrov claimed Facebook also suspended him without explanation
Kadyrov has accused the US government of pressuring the social networks to disable his accounts, which he said were blocked on Saturday without explanation. The US imposed travel and financial sanctions on Kadyrov last week over numerous allegations of human rights abuses.
The former rebel fighter, who is now loyal to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is a fan of social media, particularly Instagram, which he has used in recent years to make barely veiled death threats against Kremlin critics.
Leonid Levin, the head of the Russian parliament’s information technologies and communications committee, suggested the move by Facebook and Instagram was an attack on freedom of speech.
Dzhambulat Umarov, the Chechen press and information minister, described the blocking of Kadyrov’s accounts as a “vile” cyber-attack by the US.
Neither Instagram nor Facebook had commented at the time of publication.
In 2015, Kadyrov urged Chechen men not to let their wives use the WhatsApp messaging service after an online outcry over the forced marriage of a 17-year-old Chechen to a 47-year-old police chief. “Do not write such things. Men, take your women out of WhatsApp,” he said.
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By Laura McClure on January 12, 2017 in Interviews
Want to strengthen your own ability to tell real news from fake news? Start by asking these five questions of any news item:
Who wrote it?
identify whether the item you’re reading is a reported news article (written by a journalist with the intent to inform), a persuasive opinion piece (written by an industry expert with a point of view), or something else entirely.
What claims does it make? Real news — like these Pulitzer Prize winning articles — will include multiple primary sources when discussing a controversial claim. Fake news may include fake sources, false urls, and/or “alternative facts”
Where was it published? Real news is published by trustworthy media outlets with a strong factchecking record, such as the BBC, NPR, ProPublica, Mother Jones, and Wired. (To learn more about any media outlet, look at their About page and examine their published body of work.) If you get your news primarily via social media, try to verify that the information is accurate before you share it. (On Twitter, for example, you might look for the blue “verified” checkmark next to a media outlet name to doublecheck a publication source before sharing a link.)
How does it make you feel? Fake news, like all propaganda, is designed to make you feel strong emotions. So if you read a news item that makes you feel super angry, pause and take a deep breath.
watch the TED-Ed Lesson: How to choose your news. To find out more about what students need, read the Stanford University report, published here.
more on fake news in this IMS blog