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The Doctored Pelosi Video is Computational Propaganda

One of the focuses of the Shop is computational propaganda. According to the Computational Propaganda Project, a part of Oxford University’s Oxford Internet Institute, computational propaganda (CP) is“the use of algorithms, automation, and human curation to purposefully distribute misleading information over social media networks.”

The Pelosi video is a perfect example of computational propaganda. It’s an example of “deepfake” techology, where humans can use machines to create convincing voice, image and video mimics of other humans. Whoever did the Pelosi video was using caveman tools in relation to what is actually available right now.

Here’s a little more on deepfakes:

 

For communicators, deepfake technology is bad enough. Computational propaganda provides opportunities for fraudsters and criminals to damage reputation, brand and stock price. The threat posed by this technology comes along during times when our cynicism is being relied upon to discount organized efforts to disrupt and distract. The fact that CP has been largely deployed in the political realm makes it easier for people to ignore the threat. We hate politics, so computational propaganda is something that lives in the world of Washington DC, not the real one.

This video was posted to social media channels on Wednesday, May 22nd, and within 24 hours was seen over 2.5 million times. The response is classic late 2020s. YouTube has removed it, but not videos about the video. Twitter says it is within their TOS for users to share it, as long as it wasn’t being used for electioneering–the ultimate goal of the video. Facebook relies upon a policy of content not having to be true in order to remain on the site. Which means Zuckerberg’s monster is likely the best place to start deepfake campaigns. Their legal department has just said it is within their TOS to post fake images and video of other people. “We don’t have a policy that stipulates that the information you post on Facebook must be true,” Facebook said in a statement to The Washington Post.”

Thanks, Mark. Your attorneys just declared the season open for nutbags to attack public figures with doctored video.

Sorry, this one really irritates me.

 

 

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