Deepfakes on Social Media

Deepfakes are becoming a thorn in the side of social media companies which already under pressure to combat fake news and identity theft.  For example, Facebook is struggling to get ready for elections, yet still suffers from many fake accounts, which are themselves vehicles for fake news.  Deep fakes exacerbate this problem.

Deepfakes on social media affect elections: Report

Quartz, a popular news site, reports that deepfakes are likely to influence the 2020 elections. Social media platforms are slowly becoming a primary source of news, and unfortunately, the news is too often incorrect. News posted and shared on these platforms could be fake news or misinformation.

Yvette Clarke a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, argued that, in light of the manipulated footage of Nancy Pelosi and a similar, more recent video of Bernie Sanders, if people in the U.S. can believe that doctored videos of presidential candidates are real, then the country’s democracy is endangered.

Clarke suggested a proposal for the DEEPFAKES Accountability Act , which will not only protect victims of deepfake content, but also hold perpetrators accountable.  She argued that Congress needs to work with experts like the ML (Machine Learning) computer engineers and data scientists as well as tech giants, to combat deepfakes.

Deep fakes and identity theft

Clarke drew attention to the effect that deepfakes can have on identity theft as well.  She contended that Congress needs to update statutes for false impersonation and identity theft to include digital impersonation, and  recommended training on the deepfake technology for better prevention of the problem.

Identity theft remains a significant problem.  A report by Barclays in the UK found that almost one third of older people have been scammed.  But the elderly are not the only victims, and deepfakes will only make the problem more difficult.

Nevertheless, these are some of the classical steps to help prevent identity theft:

  • Don’t believe all ads claiming celebrity endorsement to be genuine,
  • Do not click on posts that you are suspicious of,
  • If you fall victim to a scam, report it to authorities immediately, and
  • Stay away from “too-good-to-be-true” offers


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