What are deepfake videos and what does the law say about them?

DEEPFAKES have become commonplace in people’s newsfeeds, and as technology advances, it’s becoming harder to discern what reality is.

The legitimacy of the manipulative images has been questioned as deepfakes can be used to deceive audiences.

An example of a deepfake using Miles Fisher (LEFT) and Tom Cruise's face (RIGHT) overlaid to create the deepfake.


An example of a deepfake using Miles Fisher (LEFT) and Tom Cruise’s face (RIGHT) overlaid to create the deepfake.
In 2017, a deepfake of Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg was published


In 2017, a deepfake of Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg was published

What are deepfake videos?

Deepfake videos are created using a mix of artificial intelligence and computer images to create a manipulated version of a real person.

The technology can create compelling but fictional photos or videos from scratch.

Voice clones are usually dubbed into the video to make it more authentic as well.

The term “deepfake” comes from the underlying artificial intelligence technology called “deep learning”.

There are several ways to create deepfakes, but the most common method uses deep neural networks with autoencoders to create a face swap.

An example of a fake video is one created by Boris Johnson in 2019.

The clip surfaced online to show the then Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn supporting each other to lead Britain.

In the deepfake he says: “My friends, I want to rise up [divisions over Brexit] and support my worthy opponent, the honorable Jeremy Corbyn.”

In the clip of the then Labor leader, he appears to be saying: “I call on all Labor members and supporters to… support Boris Johnson so that he remains our Prime Minister.”

Another example is a 2017 clip manipulated to show Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talking about stolen data.

Zuckerburg’s voice, which has been replaced by an actor, says, “Imagine that for a second.

“A man in total control of billions of people’s stolen data, all their secrets, their lives, their future.”

Experts claim that deepfakes are becoming more sophisticated over time and could pose serious threats to the public in terms of election interference, political tension, and criminal activity.

What did social media companies say about the videos?

When the Zuckerberg deepfake surfaced in 2017, Instagram resisted calls to remove the clip.

Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said at the time removing the manipulated clips was “inappropriate”.

He told CBS, “I don’t feel good about it.”

Mosseri said Instagram will not remove the videos because the company has not yet issued an official policy on AI-altered videos.

He said: “We’re trying to assess whether that’s what we wanted to do and if so, how you would define deepfakes.

“If a million people watch a video like this in the first 24 hours or the first 48 hours, the damage is done.

“So this conversation, while very important right now, is contentious.”

Three years ago, in the run-up to the 2020 US election, Facebook banned deepfake videos that could mislead viewers.

However, the policy only covered misinformation created using AI.

According to Vox, Twitter also took steps to ban harmful deepfakes.

Are the videos legal?

Deepfake videos are legal.

However, depending on what is included in the video, they could potentially be breaking the law.

For example, if the face swap videos or photos are pornographic, the victim can claim libel or copyright.

In 2022, the BBC reported that a proposed new law would make sharing pornographic deepfakes without consent a crime in England and Wales.

But as it stands, it’s not illegal to create deepfake videos of celebrities making fake controversial statements.

Deepfakes – what are they and how do they work?

Here’s what you need to know…

  • Deepfakes use artificial intelligence and machine learning to produce swapped face videos with little effort
  • They can be used to create realistic videos that make celebrities look like they are saying something they are not saying
  • Deepfakes have also been used by sickos to create fake porn videos showing the faces of celebrities or ex-lovers
  • To create the videos, users first locate an XXX clip featuring a pornstar who looks like an actress
  • Then they feed an app hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of photos of the victim’s face
  • A machine learning algorithm swaps faces frame by frame until it spits out a realistic but fake video
  • To help other users create these videos, perverts upload “facesets,” huge computer folders filled with a celebrity’s face that can be easily fed via the Deepfakes app
  • Simon Miles, of intellectual property specialist Edwin Coe, told The Sun that the fake sex tapes could be seen as an “unlawful invasion” of a celebrity’s privacy
  • He added that celebrities could demand the content be removed, but warned: “The difficulty is that damage has already been done

https://www.the-sun.com/news/49971/what-are-deepfake-videos-and-what-does-the-law-say/ What are deepfake videos and what does the law say about them?


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