Meta’s Oversight Board Rules Say Misleading Joe Biden Video Not in Violation, Can Remain on Facebook

The Oversight Board, which has criticized the current criteria as being inconsistent, is pressuring Meta to update its policy regarding altered material. This campaign coincides with a landmark decision about a misleadingly altered footage of President Joe Biden.

The board supported Meta’s decision not to remove a contentious video.The video in question showed footage from October 2022, showing President Biden’s granddaughter receiving her first-ever in-person vote and then putting an I voted sticker on her chest. A distorted version of this video became viral on Facebook, where it appeared as though the President was caressing her improperly. A caption calling him a sick pedophile and disparaging his supporters’ mental health was also included.

The Oversight Board determined that the video did not violate any regulations under Meta’s current altered media policy, which focuses exclusively on AI-generated changes, because the edits were obvious and unlikely to fool most viewers. The board, however, had reservations over the policy’s emphasis and clarity, contending that it ought to clearly target the prevention of particular damages, such those to electoral integrity, as opposed to just how the content is produced. They implored Meta to reevaluate the policy immediately, given the fact that many elections are scheduled by 2024.

The current Meta policy ignores other deceptive editing techniques and is restricted to content that has been AI-edited. The board recommended to Meta that extensive standards be drafted to deal with deceptive audio and video content, with a particular emphasis on content that, independent of the editing technique employed, presents people in actions that they did not perform. Furthermore, the board recommends that Meta classify extensively altered and perhaps misleading content as opposed to simply deleting manipulated media.

These suggestions draw attention to the growing worries regarding AI’s participation in the spread of false information regarding elections. In response, Meta declared that it is considering the recommendations made by the Oversight Board and will make a public statement in 60 days. While this reaction is expected well in advance of the 2024 presidential election, it is unclear when possible policy changes would occur. The Oversight Board took note of Meta’s plans to revise its policy on manipulating media in order to reflect the development of more realistic AI technologies.

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