Besieged by allegations of privacy violations ever since the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal came to light a couple of years ago and faced with persistent complaints against fake news on its website since the US presidential elections in 2016, Facebook on Monday made a couple of announcements that it says would make the platform a safer and more agreeable place for users around the world.
Firstly, the company says it has started a crackdown on ‘Deepfakes‘, or manipulated media that use artificial intelligence or deep learning techniques to create videos that distort reality. Secondly, the company has updated its Privacy Checkup tool to now include four distinct topics to help users strengthen their account security and have more granular control over who can see what they share and how that information is used. Facebook is offering a demo of the aforementioned new features to the global media at CES 2020 in Las Vegas.
To combat deepfakes, Facebook says it has tied-up with more than “50 global experts with technical, policy, media, legal, civic and academic backgrounds” to formulate policies regarding the science of detecting manipulated media. “While these videos are still rare on the internet, they present a significant challenge for our industry and society as their use increases”, said the company.
As for the Privacy Checkup tool, it now includes a ‘Who Can See What You Share’ section that will enable users to review who can see their posts and profile info, while ‘How to Keep Your Account Secure’ will prompt users to set strong passwords and turn on login alerts by default.
The company is also changing how people can search for you on Facebook and who can send you friend requests with ‘How People Can Find You on Facebook’. Finally, there’s the ‘Your Data Settings on Facebook’ section that will enable users to review the information they share with apps they’ve logged into on the platform. They can also remove the apps they no longer use, said the company.