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Twitter Wants Your Feedback on Its Deepfake Policy Plans

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Social media platform Twitter on Monday unveiled its plan for handling deepfake videos and other manipulated media, and called for feedback from the public. In the run-up to the US presidential election in November 2020, social platforms have been under pressure to tackle the threat of manipulated media, including deepfakes, which use artificial intelligence to create realistic videos in which a person appears to say or do something they did not.

Twitter’s new proposal, laid out in a blog post, said it might place a notice next to tweets sharing “synthetic or manipulated media,” warn people before they like or share such tweets, or add a link to a news story showing why various sources think the media is synthetic or manipulated.

The company also said it might remove tweets with such media if they were misleading and could threaten physical safety or lead to other serious harm.

It proposed defining synthetic and manipulated media as any photo, audio or video that has been “significantly altered or fabricated in a way that intends to mislead people or changes its original meaning.” This would include either deepfakes or more manually doctored “shallowfakes.”

Twitter last year banned deepfakes in the context of intimate media: its policy prohibits images or videos that digitally manipulate an individual’s face onto another person’s nude body.

While there has not been a well-crafted deepfake video with major political consequences in the United States, the potential for manipulated video to cause turmoil was demonstrated in May by a clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, manually slowed down to make her speech seem slurred.

After the Pelosi video, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg was portrayed in a spoof video on Instagram in which he appears to say “whoever controls the data, controls the future.” Facebook, which owns Instagram, did not to take down the video.

In July, US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff wrote to the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet’s Google asking for the companies’ plans to handle the threat of deepfake images and videos ahead of the 2020 elections.

Twitter has opened its new proposal up for public input through a survey and tweets with the hashtag #TwitterPolicyFeedback until November 27.

Last month, Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) said it would join Facebook and Microsoft in their “Deepfake Detection Challenge,” a contest to spur research into the area.

NEWS

Health Ministry Teams Up With Twitter to Respond to Queries Around COVID-19

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The Union Health Ministry has teamed up with Twitter to launch a dedicated account to respond to Indian Twitter users’ queries related to COVID-19. The new account COVID India Seve using Twitter’s Twitter Seva platform, “a customised live query redressal service.” People can put their queries forward by tweeting to @CovidIndiaSeva to get a response from the authorities. The account describes itself as “Official @MoHFW_INDIA Handle for COVID-19 Response” and it was created in March. Twitter said that the service will enable the government to interact effectively with the public during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

People in India can tweet to the @CovidIndiaSeva to seek guidance regarding steps to take if COVID-19 symptoms occur, know more about access to healthcare services, measures implemented by the government, among many other topics. According to Twitter, people will get answers to only broader questions, meaning personal queries won’t be dealt with through the new service.

Tweeting about the launch, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan wrote, “Experts will share authoritative public health information reg #COVIDー19 swiftly at scale, helping to build a direct channel for communication with citizens. Post your queries!”

@CovidIndiaSeva has been responding to the questions from Twitter users. NDTV journalist Akhilesh Sharma asked, ”Crucial question in everyone’s mind is that whether we are testing enough? What about rapid antibody based blood tests esp for COVID inflicted areas?”

Answering the question, @CovidIndiaSeva replied, “At present, 204 government labs and 86 NABL accredited private laboratory chains are involved in testing. The no. of collection centers have also been enhanced to 16,000 centers across India. We have already tested 4,05,320 people.” It went on to add, “Government of India has issued advisory to start rapid antibody based blood test for COVID-19 for areas reporting clusters (containment zone) and in large migration gatherings/evacuees centers.”

Twitter India has also been working with various state governments in the country to make the COVID-19 response management better. “It has also supported and enabled the Govt of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh to set-up dedicated COVID-Response accounts. Govt. of Karnataka, Maharashtra,” it said in a statement.

NDTV Gadgets360.com

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TWITTER

Twitter Is Down for Some Users – You Are Not Alone

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Twitter is down for many users across the globe. Reports are pouring from India, parts of Europe, Japan, as well as parts of the United States. We at Gadgets 360 are also facing issues when trying to access the micro-blogging platform, with some team members unable to the load the homepage, while others are unable to see their timelines or tweet. Twitter’s own support handle has yet to highlight the issue, though reports continue to flood in.

As seen on Down Detector, there have been hundreds of reports from across the globe, with most reports coming on for the Twitter website, with users of the Android app also reporting issues.

The Twitter status page says all systems are operational, as of a few seconds ago. As we mentioned, users are facing different problems, with some Gadgets 360 team members not affected at all, and others unable to tweet or load their timelines. The issue may be transient. To recall, the social network experienced a major outage earlier this month.

Are you facing issues with Twitter? Let us know in the comments below.

AUTHOR
Abhinav Lal You’ll most likely find Abhinav editing news stories, humouring his possibly unhealthy interest in playing Dota 2, and defending where his beliefs lie in the meritocracy vs. democracy debate. A science fiction and fantasy reader, he is sufficiently starry-eyed to look forward to a utopian future.

NDTV Gadgets360.com

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Twitter Said to Be Planning Bitcoin Payments as Tips on Its Platform

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Twitter is considering a feature that would allow users to tip one another – in Bitcoins though.

The Information reports that the micro-blogging platform is working on implementing a new payment feature to let people send money to each other.

It is not yet clear whether the Twitter tipping feature would integrate with Jack Dorsey’s other company, Square, which is a financial services, merchant services aggregator, and mobile payment company based in San Francisco.

Dorsey has made absolutely no secret of his love of Bitcoin over the years.

NewsBTC has reported on the Twitter CEO opining that Bitcoin will one day be the currency of the internet and his company Square integrating cryptocurrency payments.

“Dorsey has been a major investor in the Bitcoin micropayments solution Lightning Network,” said the report.

Dorsey will move to Africa for three-six months this year to “define the future”.

“Sad to be leaving the continent for now. Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for 3-6 months mid-2020. Grateful I was able to experience a small part,” said the Twitter CEO.

Dorsey has also hired Bitcoin developers for his payments company.

He is an advocate of digital currency bitcoin but he also says it is “not functional as a currency”.

NDTV Gadgets360.com

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