When your eyes and ears lie to you
The New York Times
“Deepfakes are coming,” said Regina Rini, and “we can no longer believe what we see.” Several weeks ago, pro-Trump online activists circulated a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that appeared to show her “drunkenly slurring her words.” The video was created by taking a real clip, slowing it down, and adjusting the pitch of her voice to make her seem drunk and incoherent. We are now entering an era “when knowing the origin of an internet video” is crucial, because anyone can doctor videos with easily available tools—while highly skilled dirty tricksters can create “full-body animations,” making politicians or famous people “appear to say things that they’ve never said at all.” Fake news will be far more powerful when gullible millions see and hear with their own eyes and ears what partisans or foreign hackers want them to believe. That’s why it’s legitimate for journalists to start “tracking down creators of mysterious web content” and publicly identifying them. “To know whether a disputed video is real, we’ll need to know who made it”—and why.