Deepfakes on TikTok raise new security concerns

  • Richard Marley
  • February 10, 2020
  • 2 minutes read
  • 3605

Deepfakes have started showing up on the popular video app TikTok, owned by ByteDance, a Chinese internet company. It has become one of the most popular social media platforms among the youth and some users are even becoming famous through the application’s wide reach. 

Deepfakes are manipulated videos or other digital representations produced by sophisticated AI technology, that yield false or counterfeit pictures and sounds that seem to be real. It involves the use of powerful techniques such as Artificial intelligence and Machine learning to create visual and audio content that has a high potential to deceive.

Charli D’Amelio, a fifteen-year-old, has due to her amazing choreography and dancing skills, become one of the most popular influencers on TikTok. Some TikTok users are taking up her videos and exploiting her content to attain popularity. This is done through deepfakes. 

For instance, Jesse Richards (@deepfaker), a TikTok user with 7,500 followers, has reposted some of Charli’s videos on his own account. In some of the videos, he has replaced her face with the face of The Office character Michael Scott, for viral purposes. 

Deepfakes are generally considered unethical and are disliked in many communities because they can give a perception that someone said or did something they have actually never done.

Deepfakes technology has raised concerns over how it could be used to spread false information and damage reputations of anyone anywhere. During the Trump-Hillary political conflict, many deepfakes were created for entertainment purposes. Because of the potential drawbacks, Facebook has announced that it would completely remove deepfakes from its platform. 

Furthermore, Twitter also reveals its plans for addressing deepfakes.