Briefing

China prohibits online news outlets, users from using deepfake technology

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The broad regulation also compels content providers to flag manipulated news content on the web, and regulates the use of these technologies beyond the news media. (South China Morning Post)

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Talking point: The law is perhaps the clearest sign yet of the worldwide concern over reality-bending audio and video. Such AI-enabled trickery is easily accessible, increasingly lifelike and, thanks to social media, quickly disseminated. In the U.S., researchers are worried about the potentially caustic effects of deepfakes on the 2020 election. The issue isn’t just the audio and videos themselves, but the potential they create for people to delegitimize real content by saying it was faked. This phenomenon, known as the “liar’s dividend,” has already roiled politics in Gabon, Brazil and China, where a popular (and freakishly convincing) face-swapping app remains among the most popular downloads.