Deepfakes Maker Under Development by TikTok and ByteDance

Technology is moving forward and so is Deepfakes. A lot of social media companies including Snapchat have introduced face-swapping features in their apps, but one can tell the difference.

TechCrunch with the help of Israeli in-app market search startup Watchful.ai found that ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok has been working on Deepfakes technology. They are introducing a feature in their app that lets you insert your face into someone else’s videos. Now, the news is that ByteDance is allowed to use these videos.

ByteDance refers to this new technology as Face Swap. According to the report, the technology is expected to be released in both TikTok and its Chinese sister app Douyin. It will require a multi-angle bio-metric verification to allow the user to leverage this feature.

From what is expected, the feature can be helpful in spreading awareness among users to understand the difference between original and made-up content. However, the question is, what will the company do with so much user data?

The questions remain as a priority until ByteDance answers on the rumors of this technology’s release.

One must be wondering as this feature can turn to be disastrous as a lot of people can make non-consensual videos that can wreak havoc, but that’s not the case with this app.

Making a non-consensual video on TikTok will not be as easy as you might think. The app will ask the user to nod, blink and do other actions in proper lighting to ensure that you are a live person.

Once you pass the verification process, you can choose from the available videos on the app instead of making one using your phone’s library or others. Apart from it, the downloaded video will have a watermark on it to let others distinguish it not being real.


Watchful.ai also found some unpolished updates of TikTok’s and Douyin’s terms of service related to Deepfakes technology.

TikTok has currently declined to answer the questions related to deepfake’s release and privacy of biometrics. Also, Douyin has denied accepting that there are any changes in the terms of service considering the Face Swap app.

TikTok has the most number of minors on the platform and the introduction of Deepfakes technology can further increase scrutiny on TikTok. Using this technology might seem fun, but its usage can turn into a nightmare for many people. TikTok is already facing challenges by the U.S. due to its association with China, the spread of misinformation and non-consensual pornography and whatnot. Let’s see what this technology will bring to ByteDance.


Photo: Thomas Trutschel / Photothek / Getty Images

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