Congressional Candidate Takes Jab At Matt Gaetz; Shows America How Deep Fakes Work

Could you identify a fake video? Congressional candidate Phil Ehr is concerned that deep fakes — which can look really, really, real — are fooling voters. He had his campaign make a deep fake video of Matt Gaetz saying some really improbable things to show how real manipulated media can appear.

Matt Gaetz deep fake video shows how it can be done
[Photo by Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images]

In August, a video that appeared to show Joe Biden sleeping during an interview went viral. It was even shared by people connected to the Trump Administration and his campaign. Fact Check explained that it was manipulated media — Biden’s head was superimposed over an image of Harry Belafonte, who was meditating and could not hear the interviewer due to a equipment issue. Despite numerous news outlets, fact-checkers, and even Harry Belafonte himself explaining the truth, many viewers chose to believe their own eyes.

Now Phil Ehr, who is running for U.S. House in Florida — for Matt Gaetz’ seat, actually — is offering an example to help people understand.

In the manipulated clip, Gaetz appears to declare Barack Obama “way cooler than me,” denounce Fox News and Q-Anon, and mourn his inability to grow a beard.

“No, this is not a Russian hoax,” Ehr says. “And no, Matt Gaetz didn’t finally come to his senses. What you just saw is called Deep Fake technology. Russia and other hostile nations are running election disinformation campaigns against the U.S. right now to influence public opinion and wage war on the truth.”

Matt Gaetz has recently been promoting a video from Project Veritas, a discredited organization that has been caught using fake or deceptively edited videos to attack liberal individuals or entities. The video in question accuses Representative Ilhan Omar of criminal activity, though the alleged crime isn’t actually shown in the video, and the person accused of it is not Omar, nor employed by Omar.

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