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What is deepfake video and how can it be countered?

The key issue: Political leaders and party chiefs need to take action to counter the huge risks of deepfake audio and video.


Why it's important: The ability for more and more people to produce convincing but totally fake audio and even video could swing elections and, some experts say, might even lead to a war.


Evidence: Just take a look at this video to see for yourself what's now possible and what could happen as a result:



Deeper insight: Techniques to detect deepfakes are being developed, but it's a technological arms-race. As soon as one IT-based detection method is produced, the malicious fakers are quickly able to counter that by making changes to the way they work.


Sometimes only painstakingly detailed manual research can tell you if an audio or video is real or not. The Wall Street Journal newspaper is training its journalists in some of these methods. The issue is, these manual techniques are labour intensive and require staff training.


What's next: Some places, like New South Wales in Australia, are legislating against deepfakes, but the effectiveness of new laws will only go so far. They won't make a difference if the criminals are not caught, nor if the negative political effects of a deepfake video are immediate.


Take action: Political parties and campaigns of all types need to equip their teams with the people and skills needed to spot and counter deepfake audio and video, before it costs them a vital victory. Stratagem Global can provide advice, training and other support on this fast moving subject. Contact us to find out more.



Deepfake videos of UK PM May and US President Obama


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