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The Zuckerberg Deepfake Heard Around the World

The deepfake of Mark Zuckerberg was perhaps the biggest troll of Facebook in recent memory, but will it change anything?

by MOTHERBOARD STAFF
Jun 21 2019, 9:00am

Last week a video of Mark Zuckerberg emerged online. The video showed Facebook's CEO speaking to the camera in his office, but what he was saying didn’t seem right.

“Imagine this for a second: One man, with total control of billions of people's stolen data, all their secrets, their lives, their futures," he said in what looked like a legitimate CBS News broadcast interview.

But Zuckerberg didn't really admit to the power Facebook has over our society. The video was a deepfake, a video manipulated with machine learning to make people look like they're saying things they've never said.

Motherboard reporter Sam Cole broke the story about how a group of artists and AI engineers made the deepfake, then uploaded it to Instagram.

Coming in the wake of the Nancy Pelosi deepfake video controversy, it was a subversive act against one of the most powerful companies in the world to expose how it sometimes fails to take steps against the proliferation of fake news on its platform. This week, we talk to Sam Cole about deepfakes, how Facebook reacted to the fake video of Zuckerberg, and what it can teach us about how Facebook moderates its platform.

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