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Artists put up Mark Zuckerberg deepfake video on Instagram, puts company policy to test


Last month, Facebook came under fire for the way it handled manipulated video on its platform, when a doctored video of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was posted on the portal and Facebook refused to remove it. Now, the tables have turned, and someone has posted a deepfake video of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckberberg on Instagram.

However, it seems like the rules of the games remain the same for everyone. Instagram says that it will not be taking down Zuckerberg’s video either.

“We will treat this content the same way we treat all misinformation on Instagram,” an Instagram spokesperson told AFP. “If third-party fact-checkers mark it as false, we will filter it from Instagram’s recommendation surfaces.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Reuters

The video shows what appears to be Mark Zuckerberg, which in fact, is a footage of Zuckberberg from a 2017 video and uses artificial intelligence to manipulate his face and the words being said. This technology is called deepfakes. It makes it appear as if Zuckerberg is giving out the statement, which in reality he isn’t, and his voice is dubbed by an actor.

View this post on Instagram

Mark Zuckerberg reveals the truth about Facebook and who really owns the future… see more @sheffdocfest VDR technology by @cannyai #spectreknows #privacy #democracy #surveillancecapitalism #dataism #deepfake

A post shared by Bill Posters (@bill_posters_uk) on Jun 7, 2019 at 7:15am PDT

In the deepfake video, the pseudo-Zuck says, “Imagine this for a second: One man, with total control of billions of people’s stolen data, all their secrets, their lives, their futures. I owe it all to Spectre. Spectre showed me that whoever controls the data, controls the future.”

(Also read: Samsung deepfake AI needs just one picture of you to make a fake video)

This video was shared by British artist Bill Posters as part of the promotion for his project “Spectre,” which looks at the outsize influence of technology and social media.

Per Posters’ website, he and his fellow artist Daniel Howe teamed up with AI startups to create “deepfake” videos of celebrities ranging from Kim Kardashian to President Donald Trump saying ridiculous things.

While the deepfake technology has its own fun applications, it has acquired a notorious status because in many cases it is being used to morph celebrity faces, famous personalities onto the bodies of others. The most infamous deepfake instance was when Hollywood actor Gal Gadot’s face was morphed on to a porn actor’s face, for creating fake controversial content.

Software for making deepfakes is available free of cost and it creates convincingly lifelike videos, like you have seen above in case of the Kim Kardashian and Mark Zuckerberg videos.

There are tons of explicit videos online, where celebrities’ faces have been grafted over someone else’s. All of these videos, of course, have been put up by anonymous “creators”. There is one such fake video of Scarlett Johansson, which was described as real “leaked” footage, that was watched on a major porn site over 1.5 million times. Such videos, by the way, have also been spotted on PornHub that claimed to ban AI-generated deepfake porn in February 2018.

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