Creativity for Good: Strengthening our commitment to trust and transparency

Young girl drawing rainbow with family

At Adobe, we are proud of our heritage as one of the most creative companies in the world. We provide some of the most sophisticated tools for online content creation that allow individuals everywhere the ability to express their creativity.

Disinformation driven by deceptive content is detrimental to the consumer and disempowering to our creative community, and unfortunately, it’s growing faster than ever. We believe trust and transparency are essential components consumers need when consuming media, therefore we are committed to mitigating disinformation.

To demonstrate our commitment, Adobe has helped develop and sign the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation. Drafted by the Australian digital industry association DIGI, this pioneering and voluntary code addresses the Government’s request for a framework to help reduce the risk of online misinformation and disinformation.

In signing the code, we’ve joined the likes of Twitter, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Redbubble, TikTok, and Apple to position Australia as a leader in this crucial global movement.

Why now?

The proliferation of digital and social media platforms has given rise to an online culture of participation, where community, collaboration and creativity thrive. Adobe’s mission has always been to create products that empower people to change the world, and we celebrate the important role our tools play in today’s digital ecosystem. But in empowering our customers to change the world, we want to make sure it’s always for the better.

As content creation capabilities become more powerful, and the capacity for sharing content grows more sophisticated, the need to counter disinformation becomes much more acute. Anne Kruger, PhD and APAC Director at First Draft, a nonprofit coalition with a mission to protect communities from harmful misinformation, provided deep analysis that informed the development of the code.

Anne says tackling misinformation is tricky because as citizens, we often start on the backfoot when it comes to verifying visual content we see online.

“When we see images, videos or photos, they get embedded quite deeply in our brains,” she explains.

“Once there, it’s hard to remove the initial meaning and replace it with the real or true context.”

Adobe, in collaboration with our digital industry peers, has a responsibility to help reduce the spread of disinformation and empower citizens to know whether the content they’re consuming is authentic.

So what have we committed to?

Adobe has identified two primary objectives in the Code where we believe we can make the greatest impact:

● Providing safeguards against harms that may arise from Disinformation and Misinformation, and

● Empowering users to make better informed choices on digital content.

This is why we created the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) to bring together technology and media companies to work toward a “provenance” standard and educate the public about the content they see online. Since 2019 the CAI has been working to bolster trust in content with tamper-evident “provenance data” that shows how a piece of content was produced, edited and published. That way, the user can decide if the content is authentic.

This industry-leading, digital chain of custody will assist online platforms and their users to check the authenticity, accuracy and source of digital content. For example, in the same way that you can open a book and see the author, where and when it was published and how many times it was edited, we are making that kind of information available for digital content as an indication of whether or not the image is authentic. In an increasingly complex world, where deepfakes, fake-news and disinformation are par for the course, these safeguards have never been more crucial.

“I’m really pleased to see Adobe leading the way on authenticating content,” says Anne.

“The work they’re doing on provenance is absolutely essential.”

All signatories to the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation also commit to releasing an annual transparency report about their efforts under the code.

These reports will help improve the understanding of online misinformation and disinformation in Australia over time. They are a critical asset in educating our customers, government stakeholders and the broader public on these issues.

Adobe has released its first transparency report and made it available here.

It’s still early days in the fight against misinformation and disinformation. However, this new industry Code of Practice sets a strong foundation we can build on to not only keep citizens informed, but advocate for creators today and in the years to come.

To find out more about the Code, watch the video below.