Meta & Misinformation Combat Alliance Partner To Fight Fake News Using Deepfakes

The dedicated tipline for fact-checking AI-generated content will be available for public use in March 2024.

2 min read

Meta, the parent company of the widely used messaging service WhatsApp, announced a partnership with the Misinformation Combat Alliance (MCA) to help fight ‘fake news’ spread through the increasing use of AI-generated content and deepfakes in India.

People who may want to verify whether the information or content they consume is accurate will be able to send it to a “dedicated fact-checking helpline on WhatsApp,” in an effort to combat deceptive content created using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Content sent to the helpline, which will be launched in March 2024, will reach numerous independent fact-checkers and researchers, who will provide multilingual support in English and three regional languages, namely Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil.

To address the increasing amount of misinformation spread through deepfakes, the MCA, in its note, said that it will “set up a central ‘Deepfake Analysis Unit’” (DAU), to manage all inbound messages and “assess and verify the content” and respond accordingly.

“The focus of the program is to implement a four-pillar approach - detection, prevention, reporting and driving awareness around the escalating spread of deepfakes,” MCA said, while also building “a critical instrument that allows citizens to access reliable information.”

“With millions of Indians using WhatsApp, our collaboration with MCA represents a continued effort to empower users with tools to verify information on its service,” Meta said in a blog post, adding that it  will label images that users post on their platforms “when we can detect industry standard indicators that they are AI-generated.”

Shivnath Thukral, Meta’s director of Public Policy in India, said that the organisation recognises the concerns around AI-generated misinformation, which “requires concrete and cooperative measures across the industry.”

The collaboration with the MCA is consistent with Meta’s “pledge under the Tech Accord to Combat Deceptive Use of AI in 2024 Elections,” Thukral said in the blog post.

Speaking about DAU, Bharat Gupta, the president of the MCA, said that it “will serve as a critical and timely intervention to arrest the spread of AI-enabled disinformation” among India’s netizens.

“The initiative will see IFCN signatory fact-checkers, journalists, civic tech professionals, research labs and forensic experts come together, with Meta’s support,” Gupta said.

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