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A lie has always been able to travel faster than the truth, and that goes double on Twitter, where a combination of bad human choices and bad-faith bots amplifies false messaging almost instantly around the world. So what should a social media platform do about it?
The question is not rhetorical. Twitter is trying to come up with a policy for handling "synthetic and manipulated media," the company said in a blog post today, and it wants your input. Further ReadingFacebook, Reddit, and others need a deepfakes plan now, senators say
That's Twitter's term for what most of us would call fakes, deep or otherwise. "We propose defining 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," Twitter Trust and Safety VP Del Harvey wrote.
As many companies in many industries have done before it, Twitter is trying to thread a very careful needle. It doesn't want to remove content, so it's proposing something of a warning label—as on a pack of cigarettes, perhaps, similar to a recent Facebook proposal.
The company also says it will consider deletion of a tweet including faked media that "could threaten someone's physical safety or lead to other serious harm," but it does not define what might fall within the category of "serious harm."
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