WeChat Restricts Controversial Video Face-swapping App Zao For Security Risks
Status: Available Now!
Type: News
Date: Tuesday 3 September 2019, 12:00 AM
Media: Techcrunch

About the organization WeChat:
Type: Business
Sub-Types: Application Software, Social Networking Agent, Website, Computer Software, Telecommunication Software, Text Hosting Agent, Audio Hosting Agent
Notable Organizations: WeChat, Techcrunch
Zao went viral in China this weekend for its realistic face-swapping videos, but after controversy about its user policy, WeChat restricted access to the app on its messaging platform. Users can still upload videos they created with Zao to WeChat, but if they try to download the app or send an invite link to another WeChat user, a message is displayed that says “this web page has been reported multiple times and contains security risks. To maintain a safe online environment, access to this page has been blocked.” Developed by a unit of Momo, one of China’s most popular dating apps, Zao creates videos that replace the faces of celebrities in scenes from popular movies, shows and music videos with a selfie uploaded by the user. The app, currently available only in China, went viral as users shared their videos through WeChat and other social media platforms in China. But concerns about the potential misuse of deepfake technology coupled with a clause (now deleted) in Zao’s terms of use that gave it full ownership and copyright to content uploaded or created on it, in addition to “completely free, irrevocable, perpetual, transferrable, and re-licensable rights,” caused controversy.
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