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This Incredibly Simple Deepfake Of A Politician Marks A Deeply Troubling Trend

If state and local elections are being manipulated with deepfake technology, what does that mean for democracy?
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For anyone following the state and local elections happening across the country this year, it’s spicy out there. But, this year it’s about to get red hot, thanks to technology.

Deepfake technology and other techniques used to alter digital audio and video are gaining use in the lead up to these elections, which is incredibly troubling for the future.


Posted by NBC’s TikTok channel, deputy editor Ben Goggin goes into detail regarding some minor deepfake technology being used in the 2022 Pennsylvania senate election between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz.

The video in question attempts to make Fetterman appear unable to speak following a stroke he experienced earlier in 2022. However, the video has been doctored to remove the audience’s applause, thus making Fetterman appear to pause randomly between statements.

This use of deepfake technology or deceptive editing has the potential to cause serious damage to the electoral process, and ultimately democracy writ large. Here’s how the viewers are taking it.

“That’s very deceptive and borderline evil,” one viewer said. “No one should do this.”

“Huh, the media manipulating news, never heard of that before,” another viewer sarcastically added.

Clearly, the need for media literacy is at an all-time high.

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