Photoshopped images have been on the internet for quite a while now. Someone’s face is put over someone else’s body or an object is added to a photo that wasn’t actually there.
These are typically designed to get some type of reaction. Either a laugh, shock, or outrage.
Now when you’re connected online and surfing social media, it’s getting even harder to tell real from fake, thanks to the rise of the Deepfake video.
What Are Deepfakes?
Deepfakes are videos designed to put completely different words into a popular figure’s mouth. For example, there are several Deepfakes showing actor Tom Cruise doing several mundane tasks. These are usually just designed to be funny and to show off the talents of the creator.
Example from Deeptomcruise posted on Creativebloq.com.
Deepfake videos use advanced technology to overlay one person’s face over another. It also matches up the facial movements to convince the viewer that the celebrity or politician being overlaid is saying things they never said.
The technology works through an algorithm that the creator feeds content into. They collect multiple videos of the subject (i.e., Tom Cruise or another public figure), then they have an actor that is dressed similarly and has a similar build act out the scene that they want to portray on the video.
Both videos are fed into the software and the algorithm meshes them together to swap in one face for another. The voice is also modulated to sound like the subject’s voice.
Deepfakes aren’t just for laughs, they’re often used in social phishing campaigns and misinformation attacks. Because people are easily fooled, especially when a video is specifically designed to get a reaction, these things can spread like wildfire, being shared millions of times.
Like any form of phishing or online deception, it’s important to be aware of the tactic and how it can be used. While Deepfakes are very good at deceiving people, there are some telltale signs you can look for to identify these, so you’re not taken in.
Unnatural Blinks or Eye Movement
Look for any unnatural blinking or eye movement. This is often a result of the computer not being able to exactly match the blinks of the actor with the subject. There may be unusually frequent blinking, or eye movements that don’t match where the person should be looking.
Strange Reflections in Eyeglasses or Retinas
Reflections are very difficult to remove from a video, so if the subject is wearing glasses, you might see some out-of-place reflections if the video has been faked.
For example, the background might make it look like the person is at the beach, but the reflection in their eyeglasses or retinas shows a cityscape. This is another way you can uncover a Deepfake.
Mismatch of the Lip Movements and Sound
The appearance of lip-syncing is a dead giveaway that the person you’re watching in a video didn’t really say the things that seem to be coming out of their mouth.
If the software isn’t adjusted just right, there can be a mismatch between the lip movements and sound which exposes the video as a fake.
Irregularities Around the Edges of Hair
It’s very difficult to crop around the hair. You can usually tell if an image has been cropped because the hair will have one solid edge rather than the natural look of hair which is an uneven edge with small whisps.
This same type of difficulty when doing a face swap on a Deepfake can cause the edges around the hair to look irregular.
The Person Saying Things Out of Character
Deepfakes will generally have someone saying something completely out of character, otherwise, what would be the point of faking a video?
So, one obvious thing that should make you stop to ask whether the video is fake is if the subject is saying something that you would never expect them to say.
Video Designed to Get an Outrage Reaction
Internet trolls and misinformation experts often create content designed to rile people up and get a reaction. This is how they get content to spread so quickly. They play up the social platform’s algorithms that reward content that’s shared, liked, and commented on by showing it more often.
If you see a video on social media that is obviously designed to get someone to be outraged about the subject, then there is a very good chance that the video is a Deepfake and part of a larger disinformation campaign.
Do You Have Online Protection from Phishing Sites?
Fake videos and photoshopped posts can often lead to phishing websites that infect your PC with malware. Quantum PC Services can help your Sturgeon Bay home or business put online protections in place that block those malicious sites.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.