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November 10, 2023

Meta requires political advertisers to mark when deepfakes used

  • From January 2024, adverts related to politics, elections or social issues will have to declare any digitally altered image or video. The policy will be moderated by AI and human fact checkers.
  • Meta said this would include changing what someone has said in a video, altering images of real events and depicting real-looking people who do not exist.
  • Users will be notified when adverts have been marked as being digitally changed.
  • Advertisers are not required to declare when small changes have been made, “unless such changes are consequential or material to the claim, assertion, or issue raised in the ad”.
  • Meta already has policies for all users – deepfakes are removed if they “would likely mislead an average person to believe a subject of the video said words that they did not say”.
  • It says if advertisers do not declare this when they upload adverts, “we will reject the ad and repeated failure to disclose may result in penalties against the advertiser”.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Omegle shut down: Video chat website closed after abuse claims

  • The site has been mentioned in more than 50 cases against paedophiles in the last couple of years.
  • Founder Leif Brooks said that operating the website was “no longer sustainable, financially nor psychologically”.
  • He acknowledged: “There can be no honest accounting of Omegle without acknowledging that some people misused it, including to commit unspeakably heinous crimes”.
  • Omegle has an ongoing lawsuit where a young American is suing the website accusing it of randomly pairing her with a paedophile.
  • TikTok banned sharing links to Omegle after a BBC investigation in 2021 found what appeared to be children exposing themselves to strangers on the website.
  • Two individuals with knowledge of the inner workings of Omegle reported that there wasn’t any human moderation despite Mr Brooks’ claims.
  • The entire company was run by him with no other registered employees. It was operated from his lakeside house in Florida and when he was asleep or offline, no complaints were acted upon.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Cystic fibrosis: Concern over access to Kaftrio, Orkambi and Symkevi

  • Parents of Northern Ireland children with cystic fibrosis (CF) say they are worried by a recommendation to remove access to three drugs to treat it.
  • Draft guidance from the UK’s healthcare advice body (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [NICE]) says that the three drugs are too expensive to be recommended for use on the NHS.
  • The final decision on the treatments will be made after a four-week consultation.
  • Cystic Fibrosis Trust chief executive, David Ramsden, said Nice’s initial recommendation was “disappointing news”, and said we must never return to a position where people with CF die prematurely, knowing there are treatments to change that.
  • Stormont’s Department of Health emphasised that “the draft guidance is not Nice’s final guidance”.
  • The consultation is open until 24th November, and Nice expects to publish final guidance in mid-March 2024.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Special educational needs funding has £65 shortfall – report

  • The figure is according to the Department of Education’s impact report on its 2023-24 budget.
  • The Department said it needed more than £2.9bn to run the education system in 2023-24 but had received under £2.6bn. The education budget was cut by about £70m compared to 2022-23 (however, with inflation the real terms reduction is much larger).
  • The Department of Education impact assessment said that many of the cuts would have “major negative impacts” especially on pupils with special educational needs, newcomer pupils, young carers and children in Irish-medium education.
  • It is expected to spend £65m less on SEN this year than is needed.
  • Some parents have also said they meet “brick wall after brick wall” when seeking support for their children.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.