Facebook bans 'deepfake' videos to target misinformation online ahead of 2020 election

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Facebook says it's banning "deepfake'' videos as it steps up efforts to fight online manipulation ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

The social network said Monday it's beefing up its policies to remove the false but realistic clips created with artificial intelligence.

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In a blog post, Facebook said the videos will be removed if they've been "edited or synthesized - beyond adjustments for clarity or quality - in ways that aren't apparent to an average person and would likely mislead someone into thinking that a subject of the video said words that they did not actually say. And: It is the product of artificial intelligence or machine learning that merges, replaces or superimposes content onto a video, making it appear to be authentic."

The company said the new rules won't include parody or satire, or clips edited just to change the order of words.

The exceptions underscore the balancing act Facebook faces as it struggles to stop the spread of online misinformation and "fake news" while also respecting free speech and fending off allegations of censorship.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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