Do not believe everything you see on the Internet, they say. A sound advice considering the massive amount of false information on the Web. But aside from altered information or edited photos meant to deceive or spread fake news, another type of manipulated content, arguably scarier than the others, is causing great concern online.
Have you seen a video of a person that looks a bit wrong, like there are unnatural movements and blurred spots? It might be a deepfake.
Deepfake, a portmanteau of “deep learning” and “fake”, is a synthetic media created using powerful techniques from machine learning and artificial intelligence to manipulate visual and audio content.
Deepfake videos have been expertly edited to replace the person in the original material with someone else. The aim may be to create confusion, deceive the public, cause reputation damage, or spread fake news. Deepfake can also be used for photos.
In 2019, AI firm Deeptrace found 15,000 deepfake videos, 96 percent of which were pornographic – nearly all were mapped faces of celebrities edited to replace those of porn stars'.
Acknowledging how easy it is to take presented information at face value, telecommunications company Globe has made the Digital Discernment eModule under its Digital Thumbprint Program (DTP) available on its YouTube channel and Globe Bridging Communities Facebook page. The eModule serves as a guide to help individuals understand the content they consume online.
“The Internet provides easy access to information, but not everything is real and verified,” Yoly Crisanto, Globe chief sustainability officer and senior vice president of corporate communications, said in a statement.
“It’s important to always be critical of what we see online. As responsible digital citizens, let us do our part to deter these threats by stopping its spread and reporting malicious content.”
To tell if videos are deepfakes, the Digital Discernment eModule lists the following tips:
– Carefully look at the difference of color whenever the subject speaks or the angle changes.
– Check for blurred spots, especially between the face and the neck.
– See if there are unnatural eye movements, facial expressions, and body movements.
– Observe if the speaker’s emotion matches their speech or if lip movements match.
When in doubt, research and verify with legitimate news and established entertainment sources if the videos are authentic.
Earlier, Globe created two other DTP eModules: Digital Insight, which deals on cybersecurity and safety; and Digital Impact, which is about online responsibility and etiquette.
“We have transitioned our highly successful DTP program into eModules to adjust to these changing times. People are online more often, and we want to create a safer digital environment for netizens. These bite-sized eModules present important lessons on digital citizenship in a very approachable fashion,” said Crisanto.