Fighting manipulative content

In the middle of August, attention of the international and local media was drawn to the clip from Late Night Show with David Letterman from 2008, in which the actor, Bill Hader, morphs into his colleagues Tom Cruise and Seth Rogen at certain moments during the interview.

That this is not just any kind of clip, confirms the very title of the video: Bill Hader channels Tom Cruise [deepfake]. We wrote about deepfake technology and its dangers in the previous issues of the Magazine, but now,  it is a somewhat different case.

Actually, the creator of this video, who runs the YouTube channel Ctrl Shift Face and who hides behind the name Tom, told The Guardian that he uses the videos to awaken the critical awareness of the public in the era of misleading content spreading. As he said, before, people knew that such doings are possible with photos in programs such as Photoshop, but they had no idea that the same can be done with videos.

Slovak by origin, Tom works as a 3D artist in the movies and video games industry in the Czech Republic, and in the last three months, he created around 20 similar videos. He also points out that he is self-taught, so to make a video like this, he only needs a good computer.

Although he thinks that deepfake includes a risk of technology abuse in a time when disinformation is being increasingly widespread, the mere fact that the creation of such video requires higher-level IT skills and a time frame of several days keeps him calm.

On the other hand, it is easier to determine the authenticity of deepfake than fake news, and this is what truly frightens him. With a bit of journalistic talent and statements that they come from credible sources, such news spread on social media like wildfire.

According to him, the aim of creating such videos is to point out to the public the extent to which spreading of disinformation and fake news gained momentum, with a clear warning on his YouTube channel, reading: do not believe everything you see on the internet.