This Fake ‘Barack Obama’ PSA Demonstrates How New Tech Is Able To Fuel Digital Misinformation

barack obama

Video Below

The video below shows how the advancement of the new technology enables anyone to seamlessly put words in the mouths of trusted public figures.

That has been demonstrated by a new PSA from Jordan Peele and Buzzfeed. The video shows what seems to be an authentic message from former President Barack Obama—but as the message makes a drastic turn, viewers might become aware that something is not quite right.

Though this video seems real enough, the former President Barack Obama has never said those words. Instead, Jordan Peele has used photorealistic editing software that enables users to match their words with another person’s face to combine his impression of Barack Obama.

Watch the video below:

“We’re entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything at any point in time,” Peele’s Obama says. “Even if they would never say those things.”

Peele then starts to show the ways this tech could be used wrongly by bad actors, by forcing an image of Barack Obama to voice an opinion on the movie “Black Panther,” and call President Donald Trump “a total and complete dips**t.”

“You see, I would never say these things,” Peele’s Obama explains. “But someone else would,” he adds, before revealing that the video of Barack Obama is mimicking his facial movements.

“Moving forward we need to be more vigilant with what we trust from the internet,” he adds. “It’s a time when we need to rely on trusted news sources.”

The video from Peele and Buzzfeed represents what the future of false information on social media could look like. Information that are possible to be easily identified as fallacious or confusing in the past can be made more difficult to analyzed with newer and more advanced technologies.

According to Buzzfeed, the video manipulation was achieved through a combination of Adobe After Effects, a common video editing tool, and a program known as “FakeApp.” That app became popular in February when it was used by a Reddit community to digitally insert famous actresses into pornographic videos without their approval.

“We’ve covered counterfeit news websites that say the pope endorsed Trump that look kinda like real news, but because it’s text people have started to become warier,” Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti said of the new video. “And now we’re starting to see tech that allows people to put words into the mouths of public figures that look like they must be real because it’s video and the video doesn’t lie!”

The Trump News Gazette

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