What should newsrooms do about deepfakes? These three things, for starters | NEIMAN LAB


‘Whether or not opinion columnists’ direst predictions come to fruition, it seems almost inevitable that newsrooms operating in a world of deepfakes will be forced to shoulder a heavy new burden.’

Three Harvard scholars show how concerns about deepfakes are creating a growing dilemma of balancing (a) requirements for journalistic verification with (b) timely reporting.

Even the possibility of deepfakes creates an ‘additional forensic burden,’ say the authors, and that can ‘slow the pace at which fastidious newsrooms report on content known to be definitely real or definitely fake.’

They suggest three tactics for newsrooms:

  1. Increasing technical means of detection, either internally, collaborating with others, or using an out-sourced service
  2. Having transparency in verification processes, for example describing the methods used and ethical questions considered
  3. Identifying ‘contextual clues’ about the material in question, including if, and how, it is portrayed in other media

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What should newsrooms do about deepfakes? These three things, for starters
NEIMAN LAB | November 20, 2019 | by John Bowers, Tim Hwang, Jonathan Zittrain

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