YouTube confirms it’ll pull AI fakes in 48 hours if a complaint’s upheld

YouTube has enacted privacy guidelines that allow people to request the removal of AI-generated videos that mimic them.

YouTube promised to do so in November 2023 and assured users the rules would be in place “in the coming months.” That time has come, according to a recent update to YouTube’s privacy guidelines.

“If someone has used AI to alter or create synthetic content that looks or sounds like you, you can ask for it to be removed,” the guidelines now read. “In order to qualify for removal, the content should depict a realistic altered or synthetic version of your likeness. We will consider a variety of factors when evaluating the complaint.”

YouTube lists the following things it will take into consideration when considering a takedown request:

  • Whether the content is altered or synthetic;
  • Whether the content is disclosed to viewers as altered or synthetic;
  • Whether the person can be uniquely identified;
  • Whether the content is realistic;
  • Whether the content contains parody, satire or other public interest value.

Complaints are moderated by humans and, if upheld, the uploader will have 48 hours to remove the video entirely or edit out the part(s) that violate the privacy guidelines – either through trimming or blurring. If the deadline expires without action by the uploader, YouTube will yank the offending content.

Ostensibly, the rules seem to be a protection against unsavory and malicious content such as deepfakes, which are easy to make these days. The focus on public figures making political endorsements is also particularly timely, since 2024 is a crucial election year for many countries – including France, the UK, and the US.

We asked YouTube for comment but did not receive a response before publication. ®


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