Sep 13, 2018

Facebook expands fact-checking to photos and videos

Photo: Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook will expand its fact-checking operation to vet photos and videos, the company announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Advances in technology are making it easier for bad actors to manipulate real videos to make it appear that someone did or said something they did not. Experts predict that these very sophisticated forms of doctored media, called "deepfakes" are the next frontier of misinformation.

What's new: To date, most of Facebook's fact-checkers have focused on reviewing articles. Now, Facebook says it is expanding fact-checking for photos and videos to all of its 27 fact-checking partners in 17 countries around the world. They also are regularly on-boarding new fact-checking partners.

How it works: Facebook says it's built a machine learning model that uses various "engagement signals," including reports from users, to identify potentially false content. They send false content to fact-checkers for review.

  • It will also use a tactic called optical character recognition (OCR) to extract text from photos to compare that text to headlines from fact-checkers’ articles.
  • Facebook has separated fake content into three categories based on research: (1) Manipulated or Fabricated, (2) Out of Context, and (3) Text or Audio Claim.

Our thought bubble: Timing will be a challenge here. Fact-checking review processes take time to ensure no authentic, standard-bearing content is unnecessarily removed. But often viral videos and photos can spread very quickly before they are flagged, evaluated and removed.

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Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Thousands of demonstrators are gathering in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make new changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct.

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In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 6,852,810 — Total deaths: 398,211 — Total recoveries — 3,071,142Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,917,080 — Total deaths: 109,702 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.