June 16, 2024

Biden’s Manipulated Video Will Continue To Stay On Facebook

A manipulated video of Joe Biden that was recently circulated on Facebook will not be taken down because it doesn’t violate Meta’s content policy, no matter how incoherent those policies are.

The 7-second video was first posted on the platform last spring and shows the president inappropriately touching his adult granddaughter.

In reality, he was accompanying her to the ballot to cast her vote. And after she was done, he pinned an “I Voted” sticker on her chest and kissed her cheeks.

But the way it’s edited with the sticker being removed, it looks like he was touching her repeatedly and inappropriately. What’s even more shameful, is the video had the caption “sick pedophile”

Now this would seem outrageous and a clear cause for removal to most of us. But owing to Meta’s poorly drafted policies, nothing can be done about this deepfake video.

What Exactly Is This Policy?

In matters of manipulated media, Meta has two rules that content has to follow in order to qualify for removal. First, it has to be modified by Artificial Intelligence or it has to be completely fake i.e. showing the person doing something they didn’t do.

A video like this spreading misinformation could heavily influence the course of the election, making it biased.

But in this case, Biden did place the sticker on his granddaughter, hence the clip fulfills neither of these conditions.

What’s worse, this policy also doesn’t cover manipulated audio. So the Oversight Board that reviewed the case said that while Meta was right to not remove the video, it seriously needs to work on its policies.

Right now, it has very limited coverage. Plus, AI isn’t the only way a video can be manipulated. Other ways of content alteration are just as serious and should be treated similarly.

The board also had a few suggestions. For instance, they said if removing fake content contradicted their policies, they could at least label fake content.

This way the users won’t have to fact-check every scandalous news and the spread of misinformation can be effectively curbed. And at the same time, every user will continue to have their freedom of speech.

Policy Change Needs To Be Quick Amidst Upcoming Elections

Responding to the remarks made by the board, a spokesperson from Meta said that the company was reviewing their policies and publicly responded to the suggestions made by the board within 60 days.

The reason why the board feels it’s important to address the matter as soon as possible is because of the upcoming elections in 2024. Firms like OpenAI have taken active measures against election misinformation and it’s time other social media giants follow suit.

Biden’s presidential campaign released a statement on Monday, breaking silence over this issue.

As this case demonstrates, Meta’s Manipulated Media policy is both nonsensical and dangerous — particularly given the stakes of this election for our democracy. Meta should reconsider the policy and do so immediately.Kevin Munoz

As of now, unfortunately for Biden, the edited video continues to circulate. For instance, a verified account on X (Formerly Twitter) shared the same video last month captioning it “The media just pretend this isn’t happening.”. This account that shared this video has 267,000 followers and the video itself received 611,000 views.

While it seems that the damage is extensive, the Oversight Board stated that the clip clearly looks edited. So it can be hoped that it won’t that it won’t mislead the users.

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