Facebook is cracking down on manipulated 'deepfake' videos — with 1 big exception

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Facebook is rolling out a new policy to crack down on misleading videos, but there's a significant exception.

In a blog post, the company announced that going forward, it will remove manipulated videos made using artificial intelligence or machine learning that are "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."

Facebook's policy applies to manipulated "deepfake" videos, which can use artificial intelligence to make it seem that a person is doing or saying something they didn't really do or say, such as in this example of former President Barack Obama appearing to say words that are actually spoken by Jordan Peele.

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But there are exceptions under Facebook's new policy. The new rules will exempt "parody or satire," and they won't apply to videos that have been "edited solely to omit or change the order of words," Facebook said.

Parody and satire exceptions are particularly notable, as The Washington Post says they "could potentially lead to thorny debates over whether a video labeled as 'deceptive' was merely intended to lampoon for dramatic effect." The Post additionally notes the new policy doesn't seem to apply to a widely-shared misleading video from last year that was slowed down to make it seem like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was slurring her words. Facebook at the time labeled this video false but didn't remove it.

Facebook last year also didn't remove a deepfake video from Instagram appearing to show CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking about having "total control of billions of people's stolen data." The company told CNN on Tuesday that under the new policy, the video, which was deemed satire by its creator, would remain online.

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