Tydelig redigert bilde av en foss som renner ut av en mobiltelefon.
Man looking at old black and white photos
Foto: Pixabay

While Kristiania University College, School of Econimics, Innovation and technology is the coordinating institution, an interdisciplinary team will examine visual manipulation. Our democracies are challenged by fake news and disinformation. Researchers have examined many aspects of fake news, but not so much the visual aspects of the problem. PHOTOFAKE will produce verification guidelines for camera-based images and will by means of its research contribute to strengthening the ability of the media and of citizens to defend our democratic societies. 

  • Project period: April 2021 – September 2024
  • Coordinating institution: Kristiania University College
  • Amount granted: 11 973 000 NOK
  • Project manager: Arild Fetveit
  • Partners: Department of Media and Communication, UiO and Berkeley, University of California
  • Project participants: Nils Arne Bakke – School of Economics, Innovation and Technology at Kristiania University College, Liv Hausken – Department of Media and Communication UiO, Hany Farid – Berkeley at University of California, Susanne Ø. Sæther – Henie Onstad Art Center, Ståle Grut – NRK, Morten Moen – School of Economics, Innovation and Technology at Kristiania University College  

Popular science presentation

Our democracies are challenged by false news and disinformation

In the new digital media-world it is easy for everyone to publish what they may wish. This undermines the status of the free press and opens for more disinformation to enter our lives. Researchers have examined many aspects of false news, but not so much the visual aspects of the problem. The advent of deepfakes and related AI-based manipulation strategies, however, have now made the need for research on visual disinformation pressing. 

The challenge involves a range of visual materials that may support manipulation efforts, from the simplest altered photographs and videos to the high-tech AI-generated videos of tomorrow. Many media organizations have responded by developing guidelines for verification of visual materials. Some are promising, but they generally appear to be based on a poor understanding of basic photographic terms and concepts. This partly hampers their work.

Man photogaphs a landscape with mountains
Foto: Günther Schneider

Improved concepts about visual manipulations

In order to amend this problem, and help improve their work, PHOTOFAKE offers a research-based revision of the most important concepts used when discussing visual manipulation, alteration of photographic images and computer-generated images which to our eyes look like there are taken by cameras even though they are not. 

PHOTOFAKE have an interdisciplinary team which combines humanist competence on photographic media and competence in the digital economy and computer science. PHOTOFAKE will produce materials describing how verification guidelines for camera-based images can best be optimized, and how verification based on such guidelines can be optimized, also while taking into consideration how photographic technologies and practices likely will develop over the next years. PHOTOFAKE will by means of its research contribute to strengthening the ability of the media and of citizens to defend our democratic societies.

Research at Kristiania University College

Do you want to know more about the research at Kristiania University College?