Published: Thu, June 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Facebook has promised to leave up a deepfake video of Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook has promised to leave up a deepfake video of Mark Zuckerberg

First reported by Vice, the video shows Zuckerberg giving a sinister-sounding speech about the power of controlling data, while attributing it all to "Spectre".

Surprisingly, it's still live on Instagram even after a copy of the video was deleted by the platform.

Last month, Facebook announced it would spend millions to fund academic institutions studying image and video analysis.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge, "We will treat this content the same way we treat all misinformation on Instagram". At the time Facebook was criticized for its nonaction, so with Zuckerberg now being the victim perhaps the company would look hypocritical if it were to react.

The Journal report said it could not be determined exactly what emails the FTC has requested and how many of them relate to Zuckerberg.

After the Pelosi video, Neil Potts, Facebook's director of public policy, was asked at a parliamentary hearing in Canada if Facebook would take down an altered video of Zuckerberg or keep it up with the Pelosi video. Zuckerberg tried to reach out to her to explain the situation, but she did not take his call, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss it and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A tool increasingly used to spread online misinformation, deepfakes use artificial intelligence to synthesise extremely realistic videos of people, usually celebrities.

Facebook, which acquired Instagram in 2012, maintains that the video did not breach community guidelines, and stated that the platform "does not have a policy that stipulates information people publish to Facebook must be true".

The word "Spectre" in the video refers to an art exhibition which is a part of the Sheffield Doc Fest, an worldwide documentary festival held in Sheffield, UK from 6-11 June 2019. The Zuckerberg video was posted four days ago.

Pelosi responded harshly to Facebook's refusal to take down the fake video of her, "I think they have proven - by not taking down something they know is false - that they were willing enablers of the Russian interference in our election". The experts at Canny trained the algorithm on the original, real 2017 clip and voice actors, and then reconstructed the original video using Zuckerberg's real movements and an actor's. It features a deepfake made by artists Bill Posters and Daniel Howe, in collaboration with the ad company Canny AI. The social media company has refused to take down the video saying that it did not violate site rules.

There is now no legislation that specifically targets deepfake videos, although it has been argued that current laws might be able to address some of the wrongs.

Omer Ben-Ami, co-founder of Canny AI, one of the video's creators, told PolitiFact that the company develops a technology for video dialogue replacement using two videos, one of the person and another of the audio to be used.

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