Technical Papers: This paper looks at how to tackle the rise of manipulated content.


The rise of indirect content distribution via third party social media platforms has introduced a new conduit for synthetic or manipulated content. That content purports to be legitimate news, or to come from legitimate news sources, and can present the consumer with apparent brand integrity markings, which convey authority.

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Three major global news organizations and a leading technology provider have come together to demonstrate a mechanism to tackle this problem that can operate at scale. The BBC, The New York Times Company, and CBC/Radio-Canada in cooperation with Microsoft have developed a proposed open standards approach which can be used by large and small news organizations to protect the provenance of news stories in audio/visual/textual media.


The rise of social media and video hosting platforms has created a significant problem for identifying content provenance on the internet. Re-hosting of media has meant that the origin of media content is increasingly obfuscated, undermining consumer trust and enabling the propagation of dis/misinformation often using established and trusted brand imagery to amplify the deception.

In order to meet this societal challenge, it is important to consider both technical and media business perspectives. Consequently, the authors of this paper have come together to demonstrate a provenance verification system that can be implemented at massive scale.

Our approach enables consumers to determine the publication source of media, independent of the site or server hosting it. This will foster trust in the provenance of the media, and offer assurance that media is authentic and has not been altered since its original publication.

We will present a prototype implementation of an open-standards media provenance architecture. This has been developed to enable content publishers to authenticate content as part of their publication workflow and for consumers to verify the content as received. The paper will detail the components of this architecture, including media provenance registration, provenance data binding to the media, provenance data distribution and consumer verification.

The system architecture has been developed to support many types of publishers and media, including streaming video. We envisage this initial implementation will provide the stimulus for wider standardization of the common interoperable data structures and interfaces required, leading to a distributed ecosystem of content provenance system implementations and operators.

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