“Deep-fake” of Mark Zuckerberg published on Instagram to challenge Facebook’s “laissez-faire deep-fakes policy”


A ‘deepfake’ video of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talking about the social media platform has been posted on Instagram – challenging the company’s laissez-faire policies on such creations. 

Created by artists Bill Posters and Daniel Howe, in partnership with advertising firm Canny, the video shows Zuckerberg at a desk speaking about the power of Facebook.

The video is presented in manner similar to a legitimate news broadcast, with the headlines “we’re increasing transparency on ads” and announces “new measures to protect elections”.

In the video, the fake Zuckerberg says: “Imagine this for a second: One man, with total control of billions of people’s stolen data, all their secrets, their lives, their futures. I owe it all to Spectre. Spectre showed me that whoever controls the data, controls the future.”

Posters and Howe made the video by taking a 2017 interview of Zuckerberg speaking about Russian trolls and editing the audio using video dialogue replacement (VDR) technology from Canny.

This isn’t the first time Canny has created such a video. At an exhibition called Spectre, taking place in Sheffield this week, the company demonstrated deep fakes of Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian. 

According to CNN, the deep fake campaign is intended to show how artificial intelligence could be used to manipulate data, audio and, ultimately, people. 

These videos will certainly test the privacy policies of Facebook, which controls Instagram, as the company has previously refused to remove so-called deep fakes.

Last month, a video of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appearing drunk was watched by millions of people on Facebook. After launching an investigation into the video, Facebook determined it was, indeed, fake and downranked it on people’s feeds. However, it was never removed.

However, Google-owned Youtube took the video down, telling CNN: “YouTube has clear policies that outline what content is not acceptable to post and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us. These videos violated our policies and have been removed.”

Only time will tell whether Instagram removes the deep fake of its very own CEO, and changes its policies accordingly. A spokesperson for the firm told Motherboard: “We will treat this content the same way we treat all misinformation on Instagram.

“If third-party fact-checkers mark it as false, we will filter it from Instagram’s recommendation surfaces, like Explore and hashtag pages.”