CBS announces ‘Confirmed’ misinformation unit

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CBS News and Stations is adding a new unit to examine misinformation and “deepfakes.”

The new unit will be known as “CBS News Confirmed” and is being headed up by Claudia Milne, senior vice president for CBS News and Stations and head of standards and practices. Ross Dagan, executive vice president and head of news operations and transformation, will also help lead the unit.

The announcement of the new unit comes close to CBS’s formation of a data-journalism unit.

Several other major media outlets have similar units that typically offer fact-checking and misinformation reporting. A prominent one, Verify, is operated by Tegna and features content distributed across its owned-stations’ websites, social media and traditional newscasts.

CBS appears to be carving out a niche for its unit by emphasizing its focus on deepfakes — hyper-realistic images or videos generated with artificial intelligence that depict events that did not happen as shown. These images tend to go viral despite beign inaccurate or misleading.

News organizations have become increasingly concerned with deepfakes as AI technology improves. Many news organizations source video and images from social media or citizen journalism platforms, which could potentially expose them to more deepfakes.

Deepfakes can be exposed using a variety of methods, including computer analysis of the images, fact-checking and more.