China Seeks to Root Out Fake News and Deepfakes With New Online Content Rules

Chinese regulators have announced new rules governing video and audio content online, including a ban on the publication and distribution of “fake news” created with technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) stated on its website that any use of AI or virtual reality should be clearly marked and failure to follow the rules could be considered a criminal offense. The rules, effective January 1, were publicly published on its website on Friday, after being released to online video and audio service providers last week.

In particular, CAC highlighted potential problems caused by the DeepFac technology, which uses AI to create hyper-realistic videos where a person appears to say or do something they did not do.

According to a transcript of a press briefing published on the CAC’s website, DeepFac technology can threaten national security, disrupt social stability, disrupt social order, and violate the legitimate rights and interests of others Can.

China’s top legislative body said earlier this year that it was considering making the DeepFac technology illegal.

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In September, ZAO, a new Chinese app that allowed users to swap their faces with celebrities, sports stars, or anyone else, using DeepFake technology in a video clip that was downloaded millions after release.

However, it also rapidly opened fire on privacy issues. Zao apologized for the concerns created but said the app would not collect users’ biometric information.

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Top video platforms in China include Tencent-Video, Alibaba-owned Youku, iQIYI as well as short-video platforms such as Kuaishou and ByteDance-owned Doyin.

Podcast platforms such as Himalaya and Dragonfly FM are the most popular audio-sharing apps in the country.

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