TikTok Cracks Down on AI Deepfakes, Must Now be ‘Clearly Disclosed’

TikTok has made some major adjustments to its content moderation policies, specifically regarding AI deepfakes. As the content app continues to see a rise in realistic AI-generated content, users must “clearly” disclose when a video features this sort of content. Other policies are also in place.

Many of these policy changes come in the shadow of TikTok’s scare over a U.S. ban and other major restrictions in place across Ontario and other provinces. According to The Verge, many of TikTok’s core “Community Guidelines” remain. Users are still unable to post videos that include overt sexual content, hate speech, graphic violence, etc. However, TikTok is expanding the policies regarding “synthetic and manipulated media,” otherwise known as AI deepfakes and content.

TikTok’s Community Guidelines now state that content that contains “the likeness of any real private figure” is prohibited. AI deepfake content surrounding public figures will still be allowed. However, any content generated or edited using realistic AI must be “clearly disclosed” in the caption or in text overlaid on the video.

The social video app owned by ByteDance does have policies in place against certain AI deepfake content surrounding public figures. For instance, users cannot create a deepfake video showing a celebrity endorsing a product or violating other policies. In TikTok’s Community Guidelines, public figures are defined as “a significant public role, such as a government official, politician, business leader, or celebrity.” They must also be over the age of 18.

TikTok’s AI deepfake content is sort of a mixed bag. Currently, a lot of it is still in its infancy. For instance, there are some really compelling videos of celebrities like Christopher Walken dancing. Others are a bit more geared toward comedy ie: President Biden gaming and talking smack with former President Obama and Trump. However, there have been plenty of problematic deepfakes as well. AI-generated voiceovers have been used to make public figures say some unsavoury things or make false statements.

TikTok is already being banned on government devices in Canada, the U.S., UK, and New Zealand. With further bands likely on the horizon, ByteDance is likely looking to appease many officials in order to reduce any further restrictions.

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