Deepfake, the new Internet fraud

Photo: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons

I’m Paula Santolaya, reporting live from SANTOLIVE in my virtual reality. Have comments, questions, or suggestions? Post them in the comments section or email me at

In the university tests, there is a True or False (T/F) modality to grade students. At first glance it seems simple, you just have to read the statement and decide if it is true or not. However, these tests are more complicated than they seem since they usually contain deceptive questions that are formulated with a certain trick.

Something similar happens with the avalanche of information that we receive daily from the media. We live in a massified and automated planet in which it is increasingly difficult to distinguish between truth and lie.

Earlier this year, a video was made viral on social media in which the former president of the United States, Barack Obama, was heard saying that his successor Donald Trump «was a total and complete deep shit.» But the video was fake. It was manipulated by the comedian Jordan Peele in order to show the technological advances and to warn people about the viral spread of digital misinformations

This technique of video production is known as ‘deepfake’, an acronym that combine the words ‘deep learning’ and ‘fake’. It is based on the fusion of images on videos, through artificial intelligence, to simulate that they are real. In Obama’s recreation, Peele wanted to show the possibilities offered by a tool called Machine Learning, which allows digitally inserting a person’s face into the body of a celebrity and putting words into his o her mouth that weren’t said.

The task of discerning what is true or false is not precisely easy and there is a lack of criteria when it comes to analyzing and sharing information. It has been estimated that in the year 2022 we will consume more fake news than true news. Therefore, it is necessary that the Internet and media work hard to preserve the truth and stop the spread of lies. But, like the students of the university, the users and consumers of information have to learn how to identify reliable sources of what they see, read and transmit.

Barack Obama, through the video made by Jordan Peele, sends us a warning: «This is a dangerous time. Moving forward we need to be more vigilant with what we trust from the internet. It’s a time where we need to rely on trusted news sources».


This is the video in which Jordan Peele se convierte en el ex presidente Obama:

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