What to Do if You’re a Victim of Deepfake?

What to Do if You're a Victim of Deepfake?


Last year, we published a blog post discussing the integration of AI-generated artworks with Billie Eilish as the subject. But have you ever watched a video and wondered… What if this was about someone you know? Take a look at a video by Deutsche Telekom’s new AI ad campaign. It’s viral on social media, featuring a 9-year-old named Ella, played by an actor. Artificial intelligence ages her to show how your digital footprint can be manipulated.

It’s a disturbing example of deepfake technology creating realistic fake videos using your face or voice. Deepfakes have harmless uses like entertainment or education, but they can also spread misinformation, defame someone, blackmail, or impersonate.

You might think it won’t happen to you, but anyone can be a target. Celebrities, politicians, and everyday people have already fallen victim to deepfake videos.

Imagine scrolling online and finding a video that looks and sounds like you but isn’t. It shows you doing or saying things you never did. Shocking, right? You’re now a victim of a deepfake.

What to Do if You're a Victim of Deepfake?

A deepfake is synthetic media manipulated by AI to create video, image, text, or voice content. They’re used for various purposes, both good and bad. With advancements in AI and available tools, creating convincing deepfakes is now possible for anyone with a computer and basic skills using apps like DeepFaceLab, FaceSwap, or Zao. Some are easy to spot, while others look very real.

What if you’re a victim? How do you protect yourself and your reputation? Here’s some advice:

1. Verify the video’s source and context

Don’t panic right away. Check where and when the video was posted, who posted it, and why. Is it from a reliable source? Does it match what you know? If it’s from an unknown or dubious source, contradicts reality, or fits a larger agenda, doubt its authenticity.

2. Look for clues in the video

Even realistic videos can have clues revealing their fakeness. Watch out for blurry edges, mismatched lighting, unnatural movements, audio-video sync issues, strange voices, or quality glitches. If you see any, suspect it might be a deepfake.

3. Use Deepfake detection tools

If you’re unsure, use online platforms like Sensity, Deepware, or Reality Defender to analyze and verify the video. Upload it, and they’ll provide a score or report on its likelihood of being a deepfake. Keep in mind, though, these tools aren’t perfect and might not catch all types of deepfakes.

4. Report and remove the video

If confirmed as a deepfake harming you, report and remove it immediately. Contact the platform or website hosting the video, requesting them to take it down. Some platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, have policies against misleading deepfake videos, but enforcement varies.

5. Seek legal or professional assistance

If the video is causing you serious harm or legal consequences, consult a lawyer or legal expert. They can guide you on your rights and help take legal action against the video’s creator or distributor. A digital forensics expert or cyber security specialist can assist in collecting evidence to prove the video’s falsity.

Consider suing for defamation, invasion of privacy, identity theft, fraud, or other offenses, depending on jurisdiction. However, be aware that regulations for dealing with deepfake videos are evolving, and there may be challenges in pursuing legal remedies.

6. Educate yourself and others on Deepfake videos

Protect yourself and others by understanding deepfake videos and their implications. Learn how they are made, how to spot and prevent them and raise awareness about the risks. Be vigilant to create a responsible and ethical use of synthetic media for a trustworthy digital environment.

Deepfake videos, using your face or voice, are realistic but potentially harmful. While they serve various purposes, they can also spread misinformation or harm reputations. If you’re a victim, stay calm, verify, and follow these tips: check the source, look for clues, use detection tools, report and remove, seek professional help, and educate yourself and others. Stay aware and prepared to protect yourself from this growing threat.

Read also: Digital Art Ethical Dilemma

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