As if navigating the world wide web isn’t difficult enough, a new wave of misinformation is unveiling itself. Deep Fakes, video content that has been manipulated, have given even the most media literate consumers cause to pause.
One of the more recent deep fakes was a smear against Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. What’s most significant about this fake is that it was shared by President Trump to his 60.7M followers. Further, even though the video has been proven false, the post has not been deleted from the president’s page and social media platforms have been reluctant to removed the video in its entirety.
We should all be concerned. Advancements in technology has made the creation of deep fakes very easy. Also, there are no regulations and/or legislation to address the growing issue. As a result, fake news is left to ruminate, reach and impress upon the masses – many of whom are happy to consume such messages.
Provided that it has been confirmed that Russia did, in fact, meddle in the 2016 presidential election, it is highly likely that more assaults on American democracy will occur and the video of Pelosi proves that deep fakes will be a tool used to spread damning material. The impact that this can have on elections and US social climate in general is disturbing…to the point where one might think that gatekeepers would be invested in intervening. This is not the case.
The internet is open. It’s fast. These are reasons why we love it. When platforms find a way to curtail fakes, they may also be encroaching on free speech and the overall appeal of the net, information and accessibility.