May 30, 2024


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How an editor's note about Kate Middleton's video fueled conspiracy theories

How an editor's note about Kate Middleton's video fueled conspiracy theories

When Catherine, Princess of Wales, announced her cancer diagnosis last month, it seemed to help quell rumors that she was retiring from public life.

Not for everyone. As misinformation spreads rapidly online, sometimes amplified by hostile nations, some social media users have been willing to be skeptical. note From Getty Images Along with the video announcement, which was released on March 22, she said she “may not adhere” to her editorial policy and sparked more conspiracy theories about the video's authenticity.

There is no evidence, according to researchers, that the video is deep fake, and agencies routinely attach such notes to content provided to them by third parties.

With images being so easy to manipulate, researchers say news organizations are committed to being transparent about the source of their content.

The editors' note, which was added alongside other details, including that Kensington Palace had distributed the video, was short: “This bulletin clip was provided by an external organization and may not adhere to Getty Images' editorial policy.” .

This disclaimer is not limited to this video. A Getty Images spokeswoman said Wednesday that it has added a “standard editors' note” to any content submitted by outside organizations. Other agencies also routinely use such notes for clarity.

It was not clear when the policy went into effect, and the spokeswoman declined to comment further. However, online sleuths pointed out that the same note was added to Introduction clip By a affiliated government entity The bridge that collapsed last week in Baltimore.

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Nor did Kensington Palace alone produce the video: a BBC affiliate said in a statement that it filmed the message in Windsor on March 20.

“I don't see any convincing evidence that it's a deepfake“,” Professor Subramanian ran a copy of the video through a system of 15 algorithms his team developed to detect manipulated videos, and manually scanned it with… Another analyst.

Components such as the video's audio and Kate's movements appeared natural, and technical evidence suggests it is unlikely to be fake. “Context is a very big part of it,” he added. “The larger context is that it was a video filmed by the BBC, which is a very reliable source.”

Photo agencies take claims of manipulated photos seriously and have done so Broken relationships With photographers who changed their work.

When it is difficult to send their own photographers to a location, agencies may rely instead on “flyer” photos provided by the group involved in the story.

“They are very careful not to take handouts, and have their own photographers wherever possible,” said Nick Newman, a senior researcher at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. He added that news agencies had concerns about the way public figures, including politicians and celebrities, were increasingly using charity to try to “control the narrative”.

He said the memo was an example of agencies' efforts to be more transparent with their clients who used those images, but there was a risk it could fuel conspiracy theories.People often take these labels and then blow them out of proportion“.

Before Catherine announced her diagnosis, photo agencies caused an uproar when they said a photo of her — published by the palace and widely circulated online — had been “manipulated” and urged news organizations to retract it.

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The Associated Press issued a “kill notice” for the image, saying its staff had detected changes that did not meet its standards. The Princess of Wales later apologized for the confusion, saying she was experimenting with editing “like many amateur photographers.”

Newman said that this incident prompted news agencies to reconsider their policies and re-evaluate trustworthy sources. “The whole question of whether you can believe what you see is certainly not as clear as it once was.”

“There is a lack of trust in society, at least in the United States,” Professor Subrahmanian said. “Deepfakes have the potential to widen the trust gap.”