Wave of deepfake MCs spreading fake news on social networks

After being processed with deepfake, the images and voices of many famous MCs were turned into tools to spread fake news on TikTok and YouTube.

"We're interviewing TikToker Krishna Sahay, the sole survivor of the recent school shooting," Anne-Marie Green, CBS News anchor , said in a video posted by TikToker Sahay. In another video, the CNN host asked Sahay how he survived the shooting. Both videos quickly attracted hundreds of thousands of views and became phenomena on social networks.

However, according to Forbes , Sahay is just one of many TikTokers and YouTubers using deepfake technology to spread fake news. Thanks to the support of AI, they create MCs with the same face and voice as hosts from major news agencies, then build sensational and false scenarios to attract interaction from the online community. Many videos even have the logo of the news channel, causing viewers to mistakenly believe that the news is authentic or exclusive.

Last week, Clarissa Ward, a CNN reporter , became a victim of deepfake while reporting near the Gaza - Israel border. The video of her avoiding missiles was filled with fake audio, leading to some misunderstandings about the situation of the conflict. In early October, Gayle King, MC of CBS This Morning , suddenly appeared in a video created by AI, describing how she promoted a product she had never tried. On the Truth Social platform, Donald Trump also mentioned a deepfake video in which his bogus statements were being quoted by CNN host Anderson Cooper .

Simulate a face created by deepfake technology. Photo: Cotigo

Forbes said news reports hosted by deepfake MCs are appearing widely and often attract more interaction than content posted on the owner's account. For example, a video by TikToker Krishna Sahay about Margaret Brennan, the MC on the show Face The Nation , has 300,000 likes. Meanwhile, the most popular video on Face The Nation 's official TikTok channel only reached 7,000 likes. Sahay's account and many other TikTokers have now been deleted due to violating regulations, but their deepfake content still exists online because it was shared by many people.

Fake news created by deepfake has been around for a long time. However, experts say that when associated with famous MC images, they have a strong viral effect and cause unpredictable consequences. "Videos from media channels are an attractive means for bad guys to spread fake news. In many cases, the host is familiar and trusted by the audience. The news interface also makes the content familiar and trustworthy. more reliable," explains professor Hany Farid at UC Berkeley.

Ariane Selliers, representative of TikTok , affirmed that the platform always prohibits videos using deepfake to create personal portraits with bad intentions. The company requires creators to separately label AI content to warn viewers. If they do not comply, TikTok will remove the video on the grounds of "misleading content" or "impersonation of an individual to cause harm".

"We don't want influencers and their audiences to be abused or deceived in matters related to politics or money," Selliers said.

Similarly, Elena Hernandez, YouTube representative , said the platform also built a "misinformation policy" to combat AI fake news.

Deepfake is a combination of deep learning and fake. This technology uses AI to analyze a person's gestures, facial expressions and voice, then recreate and edit to create realistic-looking photos or videos. According to Kevin Goldberg, lawyer at Freedom Forum, the legal system needs new regulations to handle the spread of deepfake news, regardless of whether they are used for harmful or entertaining purposes. In addition, experts believe that users need to improve their ability to evaluate information, check links and URLs to ensure they receive news from official sources.

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