Deep Fakes

This has been around for awhile and even if you haven’t heard of this ‘fake porn’ problem, you almost certainly have heard of video/audio editing to make it appear that an individual has said or done something they, in fact, have never done.

The inimitable takes on the issue of “deep fakes.”  Highly recommend reading this article as it speaks to not only trust/distrust issues created between the public and mass media but the public and, well, most anyone or institution.  Read the whole thing.

The ‘meat’ of the matter:

“Deep fakes raise the stakes for the “fake news” phenomenon in dramatic fashion (quite literally). We have already trolls try to create panic over fake environmental disasters, and the recent Saudi-Qatar crisis by a hack in which someone injected fake stories (with fake quotes by Qatar’s emir) into a Qatari news site. Now, let’s throw in realistic-looking videos and audio clips to bolster the lies. Consider these terrifying possibilities:

  • Fake videos could feature public officials taking bribes, uttering racial epithets, or engaging in adultery.
  • Politicians and other government officials could appear in locations where they were not, saying or doing horrific things that they did not.
  • Fake videos could place them in meetings with spies or criminals, launching public outrage, criminal investigations, or both.
  • Soldiers could be shown murdering innocent civilians in a war zone, precipitating waves of violence and even strategic harms to a war effort.
  • A deep fake might falsely depict a white police officer shooting an unarmed black man while shouting racial epithets.
  • A fake audio clip might “reveal” criminal behavior by a candidate on the eve of an election.
  • A fake video might portray an Israeli official doing or saying something so inflammatory as to cause riots in neighboring countries, potentially disrupting diplomatic ties or even motivating a wave of violence.
  • False audio might convincingly depict U.S. officials privately “admitting” a plan to commit this or that outrage overseas, exquisitely timed to disrupt an important diplomatic initiative.
  • A fake video might depict emergency officials “announcing” an impending missile strike on Los Angeles or an emergent pandemic in New York, provoking panic and worse.