Deepfake video of Mark Zuckerberg stays on Instagram: No special treatment for Facebook CEO

Agence France-Presse

The ultra-realistic fake video was created by an artist to highlight the dangers of false information online

Agence France-Presse |

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The “deepfake” video of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Instagram will not take down an ultra-realistic “deepfake video” of Facebook’s CEO bragging about controlling billions of people’s “stolen” personal data.

“Imagine this for a second: one man with total control of billions of people’s stolen data, all their secrets, their lives, their futures,” an AI-generated Mark Zuckerberg says in the video. “I owe it all to Spectre. Spectre showed me that whoever controls the data controls the future.”

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

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

The “Spectre” project, which is named after the secret villainous organisation in the James Bond films, aims to discuss the power of digital influencers and information online, as well as what can or cannot be believed.

Posters and fellow artist Daniel Howe worked with AI start-ups to create “deepfake” videos of celebrities ranging from Kim Kardashian to US President Donald Trump saying ridiculous things.

Posters and Howe are not trying to trick internet users, as all the videos are labelled with the hashtag #deepfake. But their work shines a light on the increasing number of faked videos online, especially as AI technology advances.

The video of Zuckerberg manipulates a real statement from the CEO, and refers to Facebook’s recent controversies over both stolen user data and one such fake video.

Facebook recently came under fire for refusing to block the sharing of a video of US politician Nancy Pelosi that was doctored to make her appear drunk.

Pelosi called on the social media giant to block the video, saying Facebook “knows that this is false.”

Facebook did not remove the video, but said that the video had been tagged as false, and had sunk in its newsfeed ranking.

Edited by Pete Spurrier

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