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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.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 an 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.
.@MattGaetz, you refuse to take Russia and election disinformation seriously.
To get your attention, my campaign made a #DeepFake where you admit @BarackObama is cooler than you and @FoxNews sucks. If my campaign can do this, imagine what Putin is doing right now: pic.twitter.com/MeDuzOZ4f6
— Phil Ehr (@PhilEhr) October 1, 2020
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.”
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com