Meet the Deepfake Zuckerberg, Same as the Flesh Zuckerberg

Deepfake video of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on Instagram

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaves after his keynote speech during Facebook Inc's annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, US, April 30, 2019.

A short clip posted on Instagram, a platform owned by Facebook, supposedly shows Zuckerberg speaking directly into the camera and boasting of his company's supposed control of people's data.

Who made it? It was created by artists Bill Posters and Daniel Howe in partnership with a UK-based advertising company called Canny.

"Imagine this for a second: one man with total control of billions of people's stolen data, all their secrets, their lives, their futures", a computer-generated Mark Zuckerberg says in the video. "Spectre showed me that whoever controls the data, controls the future".

A sinister deepfake of Zuckerberg was uploaded to Instagram four days ago, in part to test how quickly the company can weed out fake clips.

An Instagram spokesperson told CNN Business on Tuesday that the site will treat the video "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".

"We've used deepfake technology as way of narrative storytelling to engage audiences in some of the tensions that exist, like a cautionary tale of technology and democracy", Posters said.

A spokesperson told The Sun that Facebook will not be removing the Zuckerberg clip.

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The word "Spectre" in the video refers to an art exhibition which is a part of the Sheffield Doc Fest, an global documentary festival held in Sheffield, UK from 6-11 June 2019.

Last month, Facebook refused to remove a deepfake video of United States politician Nancy Pelosi even after it was viewed millions of times.

The Zuckerberg video, which as of early Wednesday had been viewed more than 23,000 times, will not be removed from Posters' Instagram account.

So why isn't Facebook taking the video down?


The video shows what appears to be Mark Zuckerberg, which in fact, is a footage of Zuckberberg from a 2017 video and uses artificial intelligence to manipulate his face and the words being said. Canny engineers told FXGuide they were inspired by the work of the creators of the Obama deepfake, and the Stanford Face2Face program.

Ben-Ami, whose company focuses on dubbing speech in videos from one language to another, is concerned about the video and others Canny AI made spreading without the context that they were created as art.

The very realistic video that appeared on Instagram has the Facebook boss saying things in line with the criticism that has been showered on him from far and wide over the last few years.

"We think people should know when a video was manipulated", Ben-Ami said, adding that the public needs to be aware this type of AI technology has the potential to be used maliciously.

Still, even though the video isn't a flawless fake, Ben-Ami said AI and even simpler forms of editing, such as speeding up or slowing down footage, have already made it "quite difficult" for people to identify manipulated clips. It seems logical enough that the video would be taken down, wouldn't it?

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