February 19, 2020

Faux News Articles and Social Media Posts Will Haunt This Election

By Chris Estep and Megan Lamberth

Last September, an image of a New York Times headline began circulating online, claiming that Abdullah Abdullah, a candidate for the Afghan presidency, had taken millions of dollars from Pakistan. Though the Times never published such a story, the convincing fake image—complete with the font and website design—exploited longstanding divisions in Afghan politics during a closely contested presidential election. For its creator, this piece of content became a useful tool for undermining Afghanistan’s already-fragile politics.

On Feb. 4, amid growing concern about deepfakes—ultra-convincing fake images and videos created using AI—Twitter announced a new set of policies to address synthetic and manipulated media on the platform. Under its new policies, Twitter will examine whether a piece of media content has been altered or fabricated, if it has been shared in a “deceptive manner,” and if it is likely to “impact public safety or cause serious harm.” The policies also attempt to establish guidelines to gauge a user’s intent to deceive.

Read the full article in Slate.

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