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#SocialStocks: Facebook Bans ‘Deepfakes,’ Snap Buys AI Factory

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Facebook announced it is banning “Deepfakes,” and Snap acquires AI Factory for $166M

Welcome to “#SocialStocks,” The Fly’s weekly recap of Wall Street’s reactions to social media stock news.


On January 7, Facebook (FB) announced that it is banning videos that have been manipulated using advanced tools, though it won’t remove all doctored content, Monika Bickert, Vice President, Global Policy Management, said in a blog post. Bickert said: “Going forward, we will remove misleading manipulated media if it meets the following criteria: It has been edited or synthesized – beyond adjustments for clarity or quality – in ways that aren’t apparent to an average person and would likely mislead someone into thinking that a subject of the video said words that they did not actually say. And: It is the product of artificial intelligence or machine learning that merges, replaces or superimposes content onto a video, making it appear to be authentic. This policy does not extend to content that is parody or satire, or video that has been edited solely to omit or change the order of words. While these videos are still rare on the internet, they present a significant challenge for our industry and society as their use increases,” Bickert added.  


On January 3, TechCrunch reported that Snap (SNAP) has quietly acquired AI Factory, a computer vision startup that Snap had worked with to create Snapchat’s new Cameos animated selfie-based video feature, TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden reports. The purchase price is believed to be “in the region of” $166M, Lunden says. A source close to the deal confirmed the news, and Snap also confirmed the news to a Russian publication.  


On January 8, the New York Times reported Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth warned fellow employees against using their power to stop Trump’s re-election, according to an internal memo leaked to The New York Times. In the memo, Bosworth said he “desperately” didn’t want Trump to win in 2020 but that the company shouldn’t try and stop him, writing that doing so would endanger democracy and turn Facebook into “the thing we fear.”   


On January 7, social media management tool Sprout Social (SPT) was initiated with a Buy at Stifel and Goldman Sachs and an Overweight at Morgan Stanley as well as KeyBanc. 

Originally Posted on January 8, 2020 – #SocialStocks: Facebook bans ‘Deepfakes,’ Snap buys AI Factory

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