Congress Now Creating A Moral Panic Around Deepfakes In Order To Change CDA 230

from the oh-come-on dept

Everyone's got it out for Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act these days. And pretty much any excuse will do. The latest is that last week, Rep. Adam Schiff held a hearing on "deep fakes" with a part of the focus being on why we should "amend" (read: rip to shreds) Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to "deal with" deep fakes. You can watch the whole hearing here, if you're into that kind of punishment:

One of the speakers was law professor Danielle Citron, who has been a long time supporter of amending CDA 230 (though, at the very least, has been a lot more careful and thoughtful about her advocacy on that then many others who speak out against 230). And she recommended changing CDA 230 to deal with deep fakes by requiring platforms take responsibility with "reasonable" policies:

Maryland Carey School of Law professor Danielle Keats Citron responded suggesting that Congress force platforms to judiciously moderate content in any changes to 230 in order to receive those immunities. “Federal immunity should be amended to condition the immunity on reasonable moderation practices rather than the free pass that exists today,” Citron said. “The current interpretation of Section 230 leaves platforms with no incentive to address destructive deepfake content.”

I have a lot of different concerns about this. First off, while everyone is out there fear mongering about the harm that deep fakes could do, it's not yet clear that the public can't figure out ways to adapt to this. Yes, you can paint lots of stories about how a deepfake could impact things, and I do think there's value in thinking through how that may play out in various situations (such as elections), to assume that deepfakes will absolutely fool people and therefore we need to paternalistically "protect" the public from possibly being fooled, seems a bit premature. That could change over time. But we haven't yet seen any evidence of any significant long term effect from deepfakes, so maybe we shouldn't be changing a fundamental internet law without actual evidence of the need.

Second, defining "reasonable moderation practices" in law seems like a very, very dangerous idea. "Reasonable" to whom? And how? And how can Congress demand reasonable rules for moderating content without violating the 1st Amendment? I don't see how any proposed solution could possibly survive constitutional scrutiny.

Finally, and most importantly, Citron is just wrong to claim that the current structure "leaves platforms with no incentive to address destructive deepfake content." As I said, I find Citron to be more thoughtful and reasonable than many critics of Section 230, but this statement is just bonkers. It's clearly false, given that YouTube has taken down deepfakes and Facebook has pulled them from algorithmic promotion and put warning flags on them. It certainly looks like the current system has provided at least some incentive for those platforms to "address destructive deepfake content." You can disagree with how these platforms have chosen to do things. Or you can claim that there need to be different incentives, but to say there are no incentives is simply laughable. There are plenty of incentives: there is public pressure (which has been fairly effective). There is the desire of the platforms not to piss off their users. There is the desire of the platforms not to continue to rain down angry rants from (and future regulations) from Congress.

And, importantly, section (c)(2) of CDA 230 is there to encourage this kind of experimentation by the platforms. They are given the benefit of not facing liability for moderation choices they make, which is actually a very strong incentive for those platforms to experiment and figure out what works best for them and their particular community.

Any effort to change the law to demand "reasonable moderation practices" is going to come up against difficult situations and create something of a mess. If we pass a law that forces Facebook to remove deepfakes, does that mean Facebook/Twitter and others would have to remove the various examples of deepfakes that are more comedic than election-impacting? For example, you may have recently seen a viral deepfake of Bill Hader on Conan O'Brien doing his Arnold Schwarzenegger impression, in which he subtly morphs into Swarzenegger. Would a "reasonable" moderation policy forbid such a thing:

Also, different kinds of sites have wholly different moderation approaches. How do you write a rule that applies equally to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube... and Wikipedia, Reddit and Dropbox. You can argue that the first three are similar enough, but the latter three work in wholly different ways. Crafting a single solution that works for all is asking for trouble -- or will wipe away significant concepts on how to run online communities.

I can completely empathize with the worries about deep fakes and what they could mean long term. But let's not use this moral panic and overreaction without evidence of harm to completely change the internet -- especially with silly claims falsely stating that there are no incentives for platforms to handle the problematic side of this technology already.

Filed Under: adam schiff, content moderation, content removals, danielle citron, deep fakes, incentives, reasonable policies
Companies: facebook, youtube


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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 7:58am

    Moral Panic...

    ...is the lifeblood of the politician in re-election mode, which starts immediately upon election. They feel they need to be seen 'doing something' which includes 'anything even if it's wrong' so that their 'base' can justify having voted for them in the past, and keep them intent upon voting for them in the future.

    It's a systemic thing, predicated upon how we run our political system. The existence of parties, parties that have power to anoint one rather than the other due to political favors rather than ability and the election process where you only get one choice (I forget the name of the system where you vote for your first favorite, then your second favorite...etc.) have helped to arrange our current situation. Both of these need to change.

    Some laws that hold the elected to the positions they took on the campaign trail, and possibly allowing for a no confidence referendum while in office might help mitigate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 9:39am

      Re: Moral Panic...

      I forget the name of the system where you vote for your first favorite, then your second favorite...etc.

      Ranked-choice voting (RCV). As opposed to the current first-past-the-post (FPTP) system.

      Maine recently implemented RCV, though last I heard it currently only applies to federal offices (as the state constitution explicitly enshrines FPTP for state offices and will need to be amended for RCV to go into effect for those). I don't think 2020 is likely to be a good test case for the efficacy of RCV in Maine, but I think we'll see more independent and third-party candidates elected there in the near future (they already have one independent senator, who was elected before RCV passed).

      What you're describing -- the implementation of FPTP leading to a two-party system -- is called Duverger's law.

      Some laws that hold the elected to the positions they took on the campaign trail, and possibly allowing for a no confidence referendum while in office might help mitigate.

      I doubt it. While most people have a low opinion of Congress, they generally like their own representation. Incumbents almost always get reelected; in 2010, about 20% of incumbents up for reelection were defeated, and that was considered a bloodbath.

      We have congressional elections every two years. People usually get reelected. We could pass recall legislation, but I doubt recalls would happen very often, given that we have elections every two years as it is and people almost always vote to reelect their existing representative.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        morganwick (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 5:33pm

        Re: Re: Moral Panic...

        The most popular form of RCV leads to two-party domination as surely as FPTP in part because the results it produces can seem random and nonsensical once you start digging into them, and other forms have their own problems. Range voting is the best way to reform the problems with the system and might do a better job of it than you might think possible just by changing the voting system.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 20 Jun 2019 @ 7:55am

          Re: Re: Re: Moral Panic...

          I appreciate the resources; I'll have to study them more before I make a call about range voting as compared to other RCV systems, but I'm aware of the weaknesses described in that first link. No system is perfect, but FPTP is uniquely terrible.

          It's also worth noting that any political party is going to be at a disadvantage if it can't run a viable candidate for president, and even if we implement RCV everywhere else, the Twelfth Amendment favors a two-party system as well. (That wasn't necessarily its intent -- there's a good argument to be made that the framers expected a situation where no candidate gets an EC majority and the President is chosen by the House would occur far more frequently than the two times in history that it has -- but that's been the result.) As far as amending the Constitution -- well, that's a worthy goal, but not a first step.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 9:35am

    Told you all that 230 is on the way out.

    It ruins reputations and lives.

    False advertising (deepfakes are one example of this) is amplified by platforms, just as it is by the outlets who run the ads. Throw in political influence over elections and you can see why Congress wants this immunity gone, and it will be. It's just a matter of time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 9:48am

      Re:

      It ruins reputations and lives.

      And yet, after how many months and months and months of you coming here saying basically the same thing over and over and over and over again, you can not provide a single piece of evidence that what you talk about is actually happening.

      I suppose your evidence must have been lost in your email list that was pirated by African DVDs who were selling your self-help books on a website making $10 million / year.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 9:51am

        Now now, he’s a busy scam artist. You can’t expect him to offer actual proof of harm caused directly by 230. He has things to do and fools to separate from their money. That shit takes time, man.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:00am

        Re: Re:

        And yet, after how many months and months and months of you coming here saying basically the same thing over and over and over and over again, you can not provide a single piece of evidence that what you talk about is actually happening.

        If it weren't happening there'd be no need for the immunity.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If it weren't happening there'd be no need for the immunity.

          I bet if there were no immunity for UGC, you would be just the kind of fucker who would anonymously post something on somebody else's site, knowing that they would be responsible, for the very specific reason to ruin them because you don't like what was said or had your feelz hurt. Is that what you want?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 7:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            John's already gone on at length about:

            • pirates stealing mailing lists
            • people who pirated his work being supported by patrons too powerful and influential to sue instead of the children/grandmothers/sort of individuals the RIAA goes for
            • waiters calling women hookers
            • women who invite men to call them hookers so the men can be sued over it
            • landlords stalking single women
            • women too proud and stuck-up to marry less successful men
            • women too stupid to marry more successful men
            • endless insults at Masnick's wife and daughters, with suggestions to stalk them
            • "Shiva didn't lose, he broke up with Masnick first!"

            Honestly, it's not hard to see why he wants Hawley to give him a rectal irrigation. He's that fucked in the head...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 9:50am

      Told you all that 230 is on the way out.

      On the bright side: If 230 is revoked, Techdirt will have to close — and likely purge — all the comments sections on its articles. Not exactly a “good” outcome, other than it’ll ensure nobody ever has to see your bullshit here again.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 9:55am

        Re:

        Not exactly a “good” outcome, other than it’ll ensure nobody ever has to see your bullshit here again.

        And that's what makes me laugh the most. If section 230 was ever revoked, he would have nowhere to post his lies and drivel. Nobody would even know he exists.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:11am

          Re: Re:

          Only the comments would close, not the blog posts. But you keep laughing, clown-boy; You're losing and laughing may be your only comfort.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:21am

            Re: Re: Re:

            Only the comments would close, not the blog posts.

            My point exactly. Nobody knows our resident blue balls / jhon / whoever the fuck he calls himself. So how would anybody know where his blog is? And since the comments section is closed, I somehow don't think the staff here at TD would let him do a guest post when considering his history of commenting here.

            So back to my original point, if the comments were to close, nobody would ever hear about jhon blue balls. And that's what makes me laugh, in that he is advocating for something that would ultimately silence him.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 4:39pm

            Re: Keep Cryin Jhon

            And we’d still be laughing at your impotent ass.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 5:46pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            I remember when you said that Wright was wrong and that Prenda would win their appeal, too.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2019 @ 2:54am

          Re: Re:

          Well, there is his website stuffchannel. But that has hardly any visitors.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Ed 'Plow-Ed' Fields the Poet Farmer, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:03am

        Re: "Stone" the person you respond to is ALREADY CENSORED!

        Right here on "free speech" Techdirt.

        There are not so many comments here as can't be checked in a glance.

        Other considerations, such as not tearing society apart with idiot hostility such as yours, are more important.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Gary (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:07am

          Re: Re: "TROLL" is ALREADY MODERATED!

          Other considerations, such as not tearing society apart with idiot hostility such as yours, are more important.

          Wow you can't even rail against ad-homs without making an ad-hom. Priceless.

          Since you believe in free speech - please show us Your free speech site that does better than TD?
          Since you believe that society shouldn't be tearing itself apart, why do you spout racist drivel?

          Is there a name you'd prefer to be called other than "Blue Balls" btw?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Ed 'Plow-Ed' Fields the Poet Farmer, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:27am

            Re: Re: Re: "TROLL" is ALREADY MODERATED!

            Since you believe that society shouldn't be tearing itself apart, why do you spout racist drivel?

            I don't. You are LYING, your usual.

            "Gary", you are actually Timothy Geigner aka "Dark Helmet", who first used the "Blue Balls" name WAY back, years before your account was started. You're a thorough liar, and just from above, clearly a rabid fanboy.

            It's YOU who should be "moderated". You even lie when actually I'm CENSORED here by a partisan site using sneaky tactics out of sight. YOUR WORDS would not be tolerated on a decent site.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:32am

              If you hate the partisan nature of this site so much, for what reason do you still post here when you could post…shit, literally anywhere else on the Internet without interference from Techdirt?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 7:07pm

                Dance my puppets, dance

                Because they know, for a fact, that they will get attention from people who insist on responding to them. Whether they are simply after the attention, scratching a persecution/martyr complex, and/or simply the entertainment and sense of power from knowing they can rile people up and force them to respond any time they post, history has made very clear that they can get it, so the better question would be why wouldn't they post here?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 5 Jul 2019 @ 5:36pm

                  Zombie alert

                  I can laugh at OOTB

                  I think I will miss him

                  He has provoked some very insightful responses

                  Plus, I was going to wait at least another year or two, sign-in and blow his mind when he sees the length of time of absence. You're going to want to see that

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Gary (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: "TROLL" is ALREADY MODERATED!

              "Gary", you are actually Timothy Geigner aka "Dark Helmet", who first used the "Blue Balls" name WAY back, years before your account was started. You're a thorough liar, and just from above, clearly a rabid fanboy.

              You do realize that sounds quite insane Blue Balls. (Your preferred name, absent any other input.)

              You actually replied - without answering anything, but hey.

              Liar? Citation needed, Cornfed! We all have seen multiple links with you lying. (Cabbage Law! A1 Racist Person!!)

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: "TROLL" is ALREADY MODERATED!

              If you dislike partisan posts, why do you make them?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Gary (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: "TROLL" is ALREADY MODERATED!

              YOUR WORDS would not be tolerated on a decent site.

              So you are saying you don't believe in my free speech, only yours? Love It!!!

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:08am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "TROLL" is ALREADY MODERAT

                Guess what would happen if he were put in charge of moderating a site to ensure it was politically neutral.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 3:36pm

              Re: It’s ignorant motherfuckers all the way down

              Why do you hate free speech?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2019 @ 2:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: "TROLL" is ALREADY MODERATED!

              You can talk - weird harold.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:08am

          And if 230 is revoked and the Techdirt comments sections purged, we’ll never have to see your bullshit again, either. (Thank the various gods.)

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:37am

            Re:

            If 230 is revoked all comment sections will disappear, including those frequented by conservatives ... I wonder if they thought about that before demanding its revocation.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Gary (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:57am

              Re: Re: Politically Neutral

              If 230 is revoked all comment sections will disappear, including those frequented by conservatives ... I wonder if they thought about that before demanding its revocation.

              Holy shit can you even imagine what "Viewpoint Neutral" would look like at InfoWars? Or FOX? (El Cheetos looses his whig just because they occasionally cover Democrats!)

              So would Fox need to provide equal time to both parties to make this work?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Politically Neutral

                Are these people that espouse political neutral platforms the same ones who hated upon the fairness doctrine? Not that it was fair, or a good doctrine but I wonder if they are the same group of people.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 9:53am

      Re:

      False advertising (deepfakes are one example of this) is amplified by platforms

      What you are really advocating is the abolition of Platforms. And free speech. But that makes sense - if you run a scam self help business, user reviews would really hurt your business model!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:47am

      Re:

      I don't see that false advertising is a deepfake, but then I suppose I have no idea what the term is supposed to mean. I would guess it has many definitions at this point, depending upon with whom you are speaking.

      Also, I do not understand this amplification you are talking about. Is it amplified if not at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard? Is this the amplification you are talking about?

      You seem rather sure of yourself, sorta like donny.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 3:30pm

      Re: where’s my subpoena bro?

      Any day now...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 9:46am

    Politicians' problem with this is they don't want the public to learn to recognize lies and propaganda, because it would undermine their ability to put out their own lies and propaganda.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Ed 'Plow-Ed' Fields the Poet Farmer, 19 Jun 2019 @ 9:50am

    Reasonable is a common term in law.

    "Reasonable" to whom?

    Definition is not left up to masnicks who won't even admit that this is a useful term.

    The flip side of your position is that since you object to the very term, then you cannot complain that censoring against you is UN-reasonable!

    Your academic view, since don't know reasonable when see it, quickly leads to NO concept.

    And then logically to absurdities like that Nazi Germany cannot be defined as UN-reasonable.

    You are an academic enabler, Masnick, attacking the basic terms of civilization.

    The reason you attack "reasonable" is solely because wish that the UN-reasonable practices of corporations continue so as to gain them the most money. That's your SOLE objective with this or any other piece: to protect mega-corporations from ANY reasonable requirement.

    Everyone's got it out for Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act these days.

    Now, just yesterday, you said it was fully affirmed by the Supreme Court!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:01am

      Re:

      The reason you attack "reasonable" is solely because wish that the UN-reasonable practices of corporations continue so as to gain them the most money.

      Destroy section 230, and corporation will exercise full editorial control, require copyright transfer, and use Hollywood accounting to keep most of the profits to themselves. If they are held responsible for what appears on their sites, they have no other choice but to exercise editorial control.

      The result would be most people can only communicate their ideas person to person via email, text,phone and person to person; while corporations and those they choose to support can broadcast their ideas to the public.

      Seems to me you want to increase corporate power by destroying the law that allow them to host UGC with little risk.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        identicon
        Ed 'Plow-Ed' Fields the Poet Farmer, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:04am

        Re: Re:

        corporation will exercise full editorial control,

        ALREADY DO, silly.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:06am

          I take it you have no problem with copyright (via the DMCA) being used to route around the First Amendment, then.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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            identicon
            Ed 'Plow-Ed' Fields the Poet Farmer, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:21am

            Re: Copyright is a Constitutional Right, not "route around",

            that supersedes other Rights. Period.

            That you and other pirates hate persons who create and want their work-products for free is the actuality, and why you need suppressed, jailed if necessary to stop you stealing.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:30am

              Copyright is a Constitutional Right, not "route around", that supersedes other Rights.

              By that logic, if I were to quote a book in a review of said book, my constitutional right to free speech could be superseded by a DMCA takedown notice sent because of those quotes. What makes you think copyright should ever, and always, be allowed to censor the free expression of ideas?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:56am

              Re: Re: Copyright is a Constitutional Right, not "route aro

              "that supersedes other Rights. Period."

              What supersedes what? Please explain how one right is superior to others.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2019 @ 3:25pm

              Re: Re: Copyright is a Constitutional Right, not "route around",

              “That supersedes other rights”

              We will see won’t we? Lol

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        identicon
        Ed 'Plow-Ed' Fields the Poet Farmer, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:09am

        Re: Re:

        Seems to me you want to increase corporate power by destroying the law that allow them to host UGC with little risk.

        Corporate power RIGHT NOW has gov't-conferred IMMUNITY.

        Now, I'm for reducing that immunity from what Masnick wants by preventing corporations from arbitrarily and absolutely controlling ALL speech by "a priori", not for any single action or posting but just because some leftist doesn't like a viewpoint. -- And you twist that into that I'm for corporate power, eh? Sheesh.

        (That complete reversing lie seems to be the tactic used on me this week.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:05am

      Reasonable is a common term in law.

      The Oxford English Dictionary defines the adjective “reasonable” as “having sound judgement; fair and sensible”. By that definition, “reasonable” is still a vague term because the definition itself is vague. How can we determine whether a specific belief or action is of “sound judgement” in a way that we can objectively apply to all beliefs and actions?

      Plenty of people voted for Donald Trump in 2016. How can we say every one of those people were unreasonable if they had differing reasons for voting him into office? How is a belief that he would do something about illegal immigration any more or less reasonable than, say, a belief that he would outlaw abortion or a belief that he would make the country a “White nation” again?

      The bigger question, however, is who makes the determination of “reasonability”. I think banning abortion is unreasonable; an advocate for abortion bans could think the move is reasonable. Who decides which of us is correct, and how can we treat that person’s decision as wholly objective and correct?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:09am

      Re:

      And then logically to absurdities like that Nazi Germany cannot be defined as UN-reasonable.

      We get it - you love Nazi Germany, Blue. You attack the Jews every chance you get.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:14am

      Re:

      Now, just yesterday, you said it was fully affirmed by the Supreme Court!

      What? Yesterday's SCOTUS ruling had nothing to do with CDA 230 and didn't even mention it.

      Seriously, why are you so bad at this?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gary (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 9:54am

    Good Fakes

    So if a fake is a good effort, then there is no easy way of telling so how are platforms supposed to censor what that can't detect?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:03am

      Re: Good Fakes

      All problems are easy to solve, when it is somebody else's responsibility to come up with the actual solution.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 7:55pm

      'If you can't spot them, then you're not nerding hard enough'

      Well obviously platforms will have to buckle up and nerd harder in order to develop the tech that they're currently too lazy to employ that will flawlessly spot and block any and all deepfakes.

      (Or, more realistically, block and remove anything that might be a deepfake, because not doing so will be used against them, and when that results in perfectly acceptable content being removed that will also be used against them since clearly the site should have known that it was legal content.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael Riendeau, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:08am

    Democrats are creating moral panic as an excuse to destroy the i

    "Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."

    These are the kinds of animals we are dealing with.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:19am

      Re: Democrats are creating moral panic as an excuse to destroy t

      Oh, Democrats can be bought, Republicans too. Not so sure about Independents though.

      And yes, some people want change for the sake of change, whether that change is for the good or not. On the other hand For The Love of Stare Decisis precedent can be overcome, just not easily.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:25am

        You're not understanding what I'm saying

        I'm trying to say that Democrats don't really care about deepfakes or any other so-called threat on the internet. They are just mustache twirling cartoon villians who want to destroy the internet for shits and giggles. Like Captain Planet villians who just want to destroy the environment for laughs and funnies.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:15am

          Re: You're not understanding what I'm saying

          I'm trying to say that Democrats don't really care about deepfakes or any other so-called threat on the internet.

          And you know this to be certain of all Democrats? Did poll every single democrat, or are you just making shit up?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:18am

          Re: You're not understanding what I'm saying

          Why single out the democrats here? It seems to me the republicans are doing at least as fine a job of trying to fuck everything up.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          TFG, 19 Jun 2019 @ 12:15pm

          Re: You're not understanding what I'm saying

          I'm trying to say that Democrats don't really care about deepfakes or any other so-called threat on the internet. They are just mustache twirling cartoon villians who want to destroy the internet for shits and giggles. Like Captain Planet villians who just want to destroy the environment for laughs and funnies.

          I mean... you could be right. But if that's true, it applies to the Republicans, too. And the Republicans are less subtle about it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          morganwick (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 5:37pm

          Re: You're not understanding what I'm saying

          They are just mustache twirling cartoon villians who want to destroy the internet for shits and giggles. Like Captain Planet villians who just want to destroy the environment for laughs and funnies.

          If you weren't the original poster I would think you were making fun of him.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:13am

    At the rate we're going, computers are going to be able to create videos that make it look like children's toys can talk and move on their own. Clearly, we to take action to make sure nobody gets fooled

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 10:54am

    Honestly, at this point, I don’t think the internet will exist within in 2 years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:01am

    Why in hell?

    Are we demanding MORE, from the internet then we Do about real life??
    Its already been shown by Ajit pie?py? Poo.. That there Are agencies that can Dump Tons of data into the gov. on any subject that a corp would want..
    There is nothing that has stopped them in the past. To take and make Fake DATA, or Bombard the congress with letters, that are faked.

    They DO, seem to know they are being FAKED..but what can they do?/
    HOW about a few checks and balances..

    1. There is a HUGE list of REAL address's/
    2. the Corps have 99% of everyones NAME and address. its generally called a phone book.(and why cellphones suck for finding where you live)
    3. ISNT there also a Census? that has LOTS of data.
    4. When was the LAST time anyone ever HEARD from a Representative?? That would ASK us questions on WHAT WE WANTED??

    We should send all of these folks out into The Forest for a SURVIVAL CAMP... get abit of reality into their heads..
    Also, If you know how to look things up, on the net, you can find Astonishing Things... Like how the price of Cotton/wool hasnt changed much since the 70's.. and we EXPORT almost all of it. Why?
    Its not an excuse, that the QUALITY of goods in this nation is CRAP.. That is what the Corporations ASKED FOR. do you think they do the same in other nations?? or would those companies go Broke Quickly.
    HOw do we ELECT to use our money, to pick the best products to buy, WHEN we cant find any, Anywhere??
    (goto walmart to the paper and craft section, Bottom Shelf, is a Tshirt...$2-3, all cotton, designed to be Painted on..)

    HOW can the Citizen/purchaser/consumer Choose and buy What he needs/wants when everything everywhere is the SAME CRAP..

    Fake news and data has been around since Politicians decided to OPEN their mouths. Faked data, Lies, cheats and steals..
    We make laws to Make this Fair, and THEY remove them..Campaign Contributions ARE SUPPOSED TO BE fully documented, and RESTRICTED..

    I can even tell you how to create Invisible people that can Vote.. and probably the same names in every state. How do we verify, WHO is real? HOW about a thumb print when you vote?(really dont need facial ID) Facial ID would Dissuade many from voting.

    We are having a TON of problems happening at the same time, and the banks/corps/gov are looking for a solution...and its all pointing to SOMETHING we dont want. Facial ID AND a CHIP at all public locations and Malls, Stores..To prove you are WHO you are.
    With all the lost DATA (manipulated or NOT) this is starting to Force ideas that only have a few solutions.

    I love the IDEA that 2 people with Diverse backgrounds and idea can Come to a conclusion of WHAT is right/wrong/true/fake/real/Sasquatch/bigfoot..
    We have delt with This is the NEWS/Pictures and everything,. In real life for along time, as well as on TV and Education.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:03am

    This so called deepfake silliness is getting ridiculous. Why are altered videos seemingly now a huge threat to our survival, what happened to cause this?

    The past decade plus, we have been subjected to an overly productive conspiracy mongering industry creating bullshit touted as news and amazingly somewhat believed by many. Why is this now a problem for these folk?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:22am

      Re:

      The republican party has become a cesspit of snowflakes who can't take criticism, think their way is the only way and the whole world should have to listen to (and agree with) everything that falls out of their talk holes. The democrats are trying really hard to ramp up their asshattery to catch up to the right.

      We're far more likely witnessing the beginning of the end of the American political system than that of the internet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 6:41pm

        Re: Re:

        These 2 groups are so In BED,
        That neither has had ANYTHING really bad to say.
        Even if they could Prove something Neither do..Unless they want to blackmail the others to do something.
        And compared to Even the Canadian Democracy, OURS IS TAME...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:11am

    Am I the only one who has trouble seeing these deepfakes? There's no way in hell I'd see that Conan clip and think that's Schwarzenegger. I've also watched the clip of Stallone as the Terminator and half the time it just looks like Arnold's face to me. Plus, it can't copy the person's voice. I've heard attempts to do that with computers and it never sounds right.

    Maybe the technology will improve, but at the moment, it's so subtle that if I didn't know ahead of time what I was supposed to be seeing, I'd probably overlook it completely.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:18am

      Re:

      If their deepfakes are anything like their replacement of swear words in movies, we nothing to fear.

      One of my favorite dub overs is Bruce Willis saying
      "Yippy Ki Yay Mother Trucker"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:38am

    All These Ideas Are Bad

    However, has anyone proposed a better one? If we as content creators, internet users, and media consumers can't fix the issue at hand then the government will (and do so poorly). Let's take all this effort we put into commenting and engineer a solution.

    I suggest all direct-to-media video addresses from politicians be branded with a watermark that rotates through colours at a specific rate. The cycling speed and colours used will be derived from an MD5 hash which is then stored with the agency whom created the video. Some bureaucratic hurdles to overcome to make it work smoothly but it would work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 12:24pm

      Re: All These Ideas Are Bad

      "However, has anyone proposed a better one?"

      How about Do Nothing. It has worked for a over a decade now, why change? Our do nothing congress has woke up? Say it isn't so.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 20 Jun 2019 @ 11:35am

      Re: All These Ideas Are Bad

      Look up the fairness act..
      Which was kicked in the pants..
      Look up truth in adverts...kicked.
      Look up corporate responsibility.. gone, because they can create Stocks, that mean/do nothing.

      Watch cartoons that TRY to teach kids that, "truth, justice, the American way", is something to be proud of.. Then look at the laws that were CUT, because of Corp backing(one way or another) and a Gullible/corrupt Congress..That changed so much since the 70's. Its no longer a TEMP/Honor only JOB...Its a PAID and fully given Full time job, even thos they only work 6 months of the year, IF EVEN THAT..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jun 2019 @ 4:36pm

        Truth, Justice and the American Way

        I grew up on the 70s superfriends and He-Man with his preachy lessons each time he thumped Skeletor.

        All that was bullshit then. And I resent big TV was trying to teach little children ethics that neither companies nor government officials were following, themselves.

        At this point, I figure they were trying to instill mores not in the hopes that we'd do better than they, but that we'd cleanly insert into their factories as neat cogs, or into their armies as ready soldiers, preferably never to muster the ruthless ambition they had.

        Our forefathers weren't even trying.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          ECA (profile), 20 Jun 2019 @ 11:01pm

          Re: Truth, Justice and the American Way

          Isnt that a great realization??
          Cartoons..
          No one ever died in GI JOE..
          Wile E Coyote, Edited so he never hits the ground..
          Wacky racers? Bad guy always looses..
          All the Old TV/radio series where the bad guy never wins..is always caught..
          As bad as today on TV, with court TV, and Police Shows. and NCIS..

          and a bible that asks us to be MELLOW, and nice...and Pacifist..

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Hero, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:38am

    "leaves platforms with no incentive to address destructive deepfake content."

    I hate this phrasing: "destructive content".

    Throwing in the word "destructive" means we're dealing in the subjective, leading to the question of who gets to decide?

    I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that it's certainly not the US government, because they shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 11:43am

    Here’s the hypocritical thing, If the Democrats make a bad bill about CDA 230, Republicans would hate it, But if Republicans make a bad bill about CDA 230 (Already happened), The Democrats would hate it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 3:12pm

    Deepfakes are as bad a photoshopped images!

    And they'll cause the same global political meltdown as the tens of thousands of (mostly badly) photoshopped images of politicians doing questionable things!

    Oh wait a minute...that global political meltdown never happened.

    In fact, the reverse happened. Famous people could claim real images of themselves were faked, and it was plausible.

    Now they'll be able to make the same claim about disgraceful video footage, only rather than claiming it was an impostor, they'll be able to claim it's deepfake.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 4:18pm

    I have to say....

    If that creepy, Mass Effect: Andromeda-looking Mark Zuckerberg from the other week is the best they can manage right now, I hardly see it being an issue worth any kind of panic for the foreseeable future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    morganwick (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 5:49pm

    Yes, you can paint lots of stories about how corporate controlled media without the fairness doctrine/massive tax cuts for the rich/lead paint/etc. could impact things, and I do think there's value in thinking through how that may play out in various situations (such as elections/media and politics/kids' brains), to assume that corporate media/unchecked wealth/lead paint will absolutely fool/impoverish/poison people and therefore we need to paternalistically "protect" the public from possibly being fooled/impoverished/poisoned, seems a bit premature. That could change over time. But we haven't yet seen any evidence of any significant long term effect from corporate media/unchecked wealth/lead paint, so maybe we shouldn't be reverting/changing a fundamental media/tax/housing law without actual evidence of the need.

    I mean, I get and mostly agree with the point you're making, but history is full of developments we didn't sufficiently control until they already started having catastrophic consequences and it was too late to walk back on them. Maybe some of the ones I listed don't work very well, especially in this specific metaphor, but there are plenty of things where people say "we should have never allowed X, at least without knowing more about the consequences". If deepfakes do have the catastrophic consequences people envision, where will you be then? This is why fearmongering works: because there really are cases where seemingly innocuous changes can have far-reaching, permanent consequences.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 7:46pm

      Re:

      If deepfakes do have the catastrophic consequences people envision, where will you be then?

      I'd guess admitting that they are a problem, and looking for a solution that does the minimal amount of collateral damage and doesn't violate constitutional rights in it's implementation.

      They might be a problem down the lines, sure, but that's not grounds to create a bigger problem in an attempt to address what they might end up being.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 19 Jun 2019 @ 7:30pm

    Not such a good idea anymore, is it?

    “Federal immunity should be amended to condition the immunity on reasonable moderation practices rather than the free pass that exists today,” Citron said. “The current interpretation of Section 230 leaves platforms with no incentive to address destructive deepfake content.”

    Time to break out the 'Turnabout is fair play' test it would seem.

    Say Citron gets their wish, sites now need to engage in 'reasonable moderation practices' if they want to enjoy the same legal protection offline companies get, sounds great right?

    Not so fast, because someone needs to define what constitutes 'reasonable', and would you look at that it turns out it's someone Citron vehemently disagrees with, and who has very different ideas as to what qualifies as 'reasonable'.

    Not only that, but a couple years down the line another batch of politicians start the fearmongering process again, and again use the same argument 'sites aren't doing enough to address this, they need to be forced to take it seriously.'

    With the precedent of tying legal protections to 'reasonable' actions on behalf of the site it would be much easier to add yet another qualifier for immunity, yet another thing that sites need to do, and that thing Citron might not agree with at all, however with the precedent set it will be very difficult to argue against the new bill, as it will simply be an extension of the previous one, and as they supported that one...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2019 @ 8:37pm

    Sick of Deep Fakes

    Really I'm not sure which is worse - that the media and others are so goddamn obsessed with hyping them up as the doom when they are so obviously uncanny valley or that people keeping fucking buying that obvious bullshit. Seriously I haven't seen ones which didn't look like they were action movie special effects.

    If they think it is realistic they ironically need to watcher fewer movies to spot it because CGI special effects have clearly influenced their perception of 'what real life looks like' far too much.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 20 Jun 2019 @ 11:49am

    Anyone, wonder...

    About the idea that as Citizens we are demanded to tell the truth, the whole truth.. Be Honest or get fired..That Lying can get you farther then BEING REAL??
    I used to point out that Pictures have no depth perception...Seeing pictures in news Were focuses on 50-100 people, and NEVER the area around.. and that 50-100 was about all there were.
    Then we started getting pictures that were Doctored, and if you looked, you could see that it was Copied pasted, or that Persons standing in locations they couldnt be in.( now where was that fire hydrant).
    then CAME the Good folks that started pointing these out...and they get persecuted..Punished... And corrections in the news..??? LAUGH..NEVER. 60' minutes HATES being sue'd esp. by Major corps, for telling the truth. And sometime the truth gets buried EVEN in court.
    Then there was this LAW in my area, that NO ONE could take pic's of Farms/dairies/if not an employee/or even if you were..(recently rescinded.)After it was shown how dairy cattle were abused.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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