Video has come to dominate the online experience. So, as the world becomes increasingly ideologically fractured, it is no surprise it is being exploited and weaponised for political purposes.
As financial and other barriers to advanced edited techniques have come down, several videos using such methods have gone viral. The problem is they often feature people saying and doing things they never did. Perhaps most memorably, in 2018 filmmaker Jordan Peele and Buzzfeed created a deepfake of former US president, Barack Obama, insulting his successor Donald Trump. Peele made the video to warn that, in the future, the breakdown in trust between politicians, the media and viewers is only set to grow.
That future is now, according to Nina Schick, author of Deep Fakes and Infocalypse. She predicts that in five to seven years 90 percent of online videos will be synthetic. Seeing and hearing may no longer be believing.
In this episode of The Stream, we meet Nina Schick to discuss the growing influence of deepfakes in politics, find out who is tackling the problem and ask whether society is ready for what some are calling “the infocalypse”.
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