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TechCrunch reports that Israeli research firm Watchful.ai found code for the feature, called Face Swap, in the code for TikTok and Douyin. A deepfake is when a person’s face is superimposed over something else to make it appear real.
There have been several high profile instances of deepfakes, such as ones using the faces of actor Kit Harrington and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It has also been used to create non-consensual pornographic videos.
The feature would essentially let users scan their face (a way to validate that it is you using the feature and not someone who doesn’t want their face in a fake video), and then put it into videos that ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok and Douyin, has the right to use.
The created deepfake would have a watermark on it that would show that it was fake.
A spokesperson for TikTok told TechCrunch that they did not have any plans to introduce the “Face Swap” feature, and then later added that the “inactive code fragments” would be removed from TikTok.
You can read all of the TechCrunch report here.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).