Facebook will not remove altered video of Mark Zuckerberg

A manipulated video appearing to show Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg talking about him being “one man with total control of billions of people’s stolen data” will not be removed, the social network has said.

The video is known as a deepfake, using AI software to combine and superimpose existing images and videos of a person to make it look they have said something they have not.

“Imagine this for a second, one man with total control of billions of people’s stolen data, all their secrets, their lives, their futures, I owe it all to Spectre,” a likeliness of Mr Zuckerberg said in a 16-second clip uploaded to Instagram.

“Spectre showed me that whoever controls the data controls the future.”

In this case, “Spectre” refers to the name of an art installation in Sheffield, which showcases a number of deepfake videos of celebrities, including US President Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian and Morgan Freeman.

“We will treat this content the same way we treat all misinformation on Instagram,” a Facebook spokeswoman said.

“If third-party fact-checkers mark it as false, we will filter it from Instagram’s recommendation surfaces like Explore and hashtag pages.”

The social network says it uses image detection technology to find content that has been debunked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking program on Instagram, which is filtered from hashtags and Explore once such content is found.

Facebook will take steps to filter out and reduce the distribution of such content, rather than outright removing it.

The video of Mr Zuckerberg still appears when searching the #deepfake hashtag.

Bill Posters, the artist behind the project, said the aim is to “tear open the ‘black box’ of the digital influence industry and reveal to others what it is really like”.

“Spectre interrogates and reveals many of the common tactics and methods that are used by corporate or political actors to influence people’s behaviours and decision-making,” he explained.

“This runs through all aspects of the project, from our social media strategy featuring celebrity ‘Influencers’; to the A/B testing processes used in development; to the ‘personalised’ features integral to the gaming industry; to the technologies, algorithms and behavioural profiling used throughout Spectre’s system.”

Facebook’s decision not to take the video down comes after a slowed down video of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remained on the social network and other platforms, which made the American politician’s speech appear slurred.

“We have said all along, poor Facebook, they were unwittingly exploited by the Russians,” she said in reaction, to American news outlet KQED.

“I think wittingly, because right now they are putting up something that they know is false.”

- Press Association

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