Deep fakes have an effect on opinions, ‘people fall for it’

For deepfakes, movies are adapted using smart algorithms, allowing you, for example, to make a famous person say completely different things than they actually do. For their study, the researchers manipulated a video by former CDA leader Buma.

The group that was shown the fake film thought more negatively about the politician afterwards than the group that watched the original video. The attitude towards the whole party remained almost the same in both situations.

‘People fall for it.’

Other than that, the manipulation had been successful, says UvA researcher Tom Dobber: only 8 of the 140 people who saw the film doubted its authenticity. “And it wasn’t even perfect, you could see the lips moving crazy from time to time. It’s remarkable that people kick in full.”

It was noticeable that after seeing the manipulated video that group generally did not think much more negatively about the CDA politician. However, there was a difference among believing Christians who were specifically CDA-minded: they reacted more strongly to the video.

Raging pace

Sending different deepfakes to multiple people can further enhance that effect. But, according to the scientists, that danger is not yet in sight, because the technology is not yet working optimally. However, that may change rapidly, because the technology is developing at a furious pace

In the video below you can see how such a deepfake video works: