China’s surgical combat against ‘Deepfakes’

China laws on Deepfakes image

Well, to all those who are constant on Twitter and Facebook knows what the ruckus is going on as the history of this combat is very ancient or more like an, “Once upon a time story…..” And while those who are completely alien to the story, I will narrate it to you in the latter. Why? You ask. Because the story was the very beginning, as the back story of any dramatic TV series soap shows.

First of all, what exactly is a “Deepfake”? Don’t worry; it’s not something stupid that I invented. Deepfakes are manipulated and synthetic videos posted on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Images, Videos, and audio clips that had been significantly altered and fabricated in ways about events that have never happened come under this categorization.

So, the story begins, Once upon a time….. although not so long ago. Earlier this year, a manipulated video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was left on Facebook and Twitter. In the video, it seems as if she was garbling her words that were drawing criticism from the audience, especially from the democrats.

And because of this incident, Twitter formulated several new policies to restrict the flow of Deepfakes in its platform. It even stated that Twitter would be running the policies on a feedback trial period with its user to ensure its stability with the users.

Twitter said, “The new policy will address this type of content, specifically when it could threaten someone’s physical safety or lead to offline harm.”

But it seems that those measures weren’t enough at all. Why? That’s a secret which I will enclose in the later part! Be patient till then.

Okay, now let’s drive to the present scenario of the issue. So, here’s the deal recently China announced that the use of Deepfakes or fake news and video created with the help of Artificial intelligence to be a serious criminal crime. Well, everybody is aware of the Chinese government’s legacy to date. So, I am telling you that the crime is that of Criminal charges. 

Then, please mark my words and don’t bite them!

And this policy is issued in the light of the fact that Deepfakes “endanger national security, disrupt social stability, disrupt social order and infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of others.”

And as the new policy of the Chinese government, this policy bans the flow of Deepfakes and fake news online. And if the Deepfake or the kind of video or post that is suspected to be fake goes viral or streamline without proper information that whether it was created through Artificial intelligence or VR technology. Then, you bet the culprit has dug his/her own grave. For the charges of such an act is declared to be ‘Criminal’ in China by the government. And the government reserve full right to ‘Prosecute’ the violator, post, and video. Got it. ‘Violator’. Take my advice and adhere to this warning literally. Okay.

“With the adoption of new technologies, such as Deepfake, in online video and audio industries, there have been risks in using such content to disrupt social order and violate people’s interests, creating political risks and bringing a negative impact to national security and social stability,” said the CAC in an online video on Friday as per the South China Morning Post. And even though the post says, ‘South China’ but it’s meant for entire China. Please don’t take it literally!


The law will be in action from 1 January 2020. And so, if by any chance you have done exactly what wasn’t needed to be done. Then great, you are out of the doom circle for now. But if you do so even if it needed to be done after 1 January 2020. Then, my condolences and deep sympathies, you have dug your own grave. And by no means have I known you. So, try to control your adrenaline rush and don’t ever try to experiment such a demise! Get it!

And the big catch is that China seems to be mimicking California’s action on the same issue. Because I’m pretty sure you don’t know that last month, i.e., October, California became the very first state of the United Nations to take any action on this issue for the first by issuing a government policy for the same. The law is called AB 730, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. As per this law, it’s a crime to publish audio, image, or video that creates any kind of virtual image which is not true but is perceived as true by the public by damaging the image or reputation of any political entity or their actions.

Although California hasn’t used the term Deepfake by addressing the law, instead it includes a term as AI manufactured fake posts, images, or videos damaging someone’s image or reputation. California law is solely aimed to minimize or restrict the damage of fake image, post, or video advertisement on Social media platforms on the political and socio sphere of the nation’s society specifically during the election. The “Once upon a time story….” In the earlier part is the perfect example.

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter are trying to create a better approach and tools for the detection of the Deepfakes and to restrict their flow and streamline on their platforms. Twitter did say that I been in the mid of the process of drafting various Deepfake detection and restriction policies after its lesson from the fake edited video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi going viral on its platform. And if your memory is going blank on this part and at this point, please refer to the Once upon a time story in the earlier part. As it was really embarrassing for Twitter not to be able to stop such a trivial fake video streamline on its platform.

As for Facebook, right now it is in a dire situation of dilemma due to its policy of speech on its platform. Even though Facebook hasn’t been spared from the critical remarks on its vulnerability and incompetence for not being able to stop the streamlining of the fake edited video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in its platform either. So, the negative side of the same policy of speech for it will surely be exploited under its noise by the politicians by consciously lying to the public at the time of the election on its platform. 

Although, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said in a statement that Facebook no longer wants to support speech on its platform whereas Twitter being tired from all the very ruckus has announced an outright ban on all such political advertisement to get riddance of any such hooked- crooked craftiness of any Deepfakes of the political entity on its platform. Well, someone is really annoyed, it seems!

Image source: TheGoncas2

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