Spotting Deepfakes

What Is A Deepfake?

Deepfake videos are popping up all across the internet. Perhaps you’ve seen advertisements for new apps that can superimpose your face onto videos. Or maybe you’ve seen the comedy YouTube channels where Nicholas Cage’s face replaces everyone in the clip. You may not have seen anything even close to this. These are just some examples of deepfake videos.

Deepfake is currently being used by amateur filmmakers and for satirical art. The problem, however, is that deepfake tends to pose more of a problem than a solution. The editing of videos to mimic the appearance of real life people has been problematic at best and caused people to question their politicians.

Unfortunately, deepfake is here to stay, which means it’s our responsibility to make sure we’re consuming and sharing information that’s true. Microsoft released a tool to help spot deepfake videos, but, just like phishing emails, it’s good to know how to spot them on your own.

Spotting A Deepfake

The truth is in the details. Even with the most sophisticated AI creating these videos, the technology still lacks the ability to capture the minutia of human characteristics. Flyaway or baby hairs on a person’s head are an indication that the video is likely real. The fabricated videos still have trouble replicating this type of detail.

Next, take a look at the eyes. People naturally shift their gaze toward the subject they’re addressing. In a deepfake video, the subject may have a lazy eye or an odd gaze. Additionally, glasses will glitch or fuzz as the deepfake speaker moves their head.

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Another giveaway is the lineup of the teeth. Deepfake videos aren’t quite adept at creating individual teeth. Instead, they tend to look like one long band of white. That’s a great indication you’re looking at an AI generated video.

Finally, check the face. Faces in general are a great indicator that the video you’re watching might be fabricated. Watch as the subject turns their head. These kind of of videos create a distortion when the face isn’t looking directly forward. These differences are counting on you to watch them on your phone, as the screen is smaller and less likely to show inconsistencies. Check out a video on your TV to see if there are problems you can spot.

But How Does It Make You Feel

In addition to the physical characteristics of the deepfake videos, you’ll need to question the motives behind it. Politics has become a deep source of division and contention among many Americans. Is the video you’re watching eliciting an emotional response? Is it tugging at your heartstrings or enraging your sense of justice?

The purpose of many of these videos is to spark an emotional response in the viewer. We are hardwired to pay more attention to ideas that we emotionally connect with, therefore the goal of a deepfake is to make you remember it. Therefore, by using common sense and rational thinking, you can stop yourself from buying into the emotional radicalism the creator is hoping for.

Just Keep Learning

The best thing we can do to not become victims of scams, including intellectual scams like deepfake videos, is to educate ourselves. The tips above are a great start, now take the quiz below to learn more and see if you’ve gained the ability to spot a deepfake.

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Take the Quiz

And, as always, stay safe out there.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

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10 thoughts on “Spotting Deepfakes

  1. I bought a new used Hewlett-Packard. Although it’s not new it’s better than the Samsung I had for school anyways, I tried to install PC Matic but I never could get it to work right or install right.
    When I got a hold of PC Matic it was kind of funny because nobody really went out of their way to try to help me.
    So I deleted everything got a refund and the guy I bought the computer from installed Defender and told me that would be good enough for me. Since I am not a techie I believe him.
    Am I making a big mistake only using the Defender?
    And why was installing PC Matic such a pain in the ass that I had to do something different and completely back away from PC Matic.
    It seemed like the people at PC Matic that I dealt with knew even less than I do.

    • Hi Steven,

      Did you reach out to our support team through our verified channels? Often, we see people searching for a number for PC Matic only to get a scam company pretending to be us. You should always go through the support page on our site.

  2. Hi amigos y amigas. Be very careful indeed. I worked in the Electronics Industry for thirty years. Most of the time on computers. (Engineering side) Be very careful indeed. There are always they, for whom the idea of honest work is anathema. The ingenuity the show often borders on genius. If they were not larcenous by nature, they could probably make a fortune honestly.
    They will always go fur the latest technology, before the average person has a chance to become au fait with it. If you notice anything you are not happy with; delete it first, and ask questions later. If it is a genuine person, they will gladly resend it when you explain why. I, myself aldo have firewalls in a few languagws

    Even I nearly got scammed once. eg; I was on a forum where we corresponded in English, Tokpisin, and Motuan. This lady came on expressing an interest in PNG. She identified herself a an African American and an Accountant.(no romance involved) She would have realised from correspondence there that I was one of the sponsors for the PNG Independence Day celebrations. She suggested that we set up a fund for education for PNG children. (Education is neither free nor compulsory there, so in rural areas, few have more than 3 years primary school) Anyway when I started to go into details, she wanted to gloss over them. Strange behaviour for an accountant, which made me a little suspicious. So I checked her bona fides.

    If you search for Hazinza Samuel Doe, you will find six or more horny black ladies, somewhat personable, to say the least. I hope I haven’t bored you, but I thought it would be a good example of 1. How ingenious scammers are; 2. How careful you have to be about posting personal details and activities online.

    Grrrrooooowwwwlllll…. Marum Katze.

    PS. Great article/s hombre.

  3. Also, look for edits. If the picture jumps just a little or seems to suddenly change a little–just a tiny bit–, it’s probably been edited. These are very short, but if you stay aware, you’ll notice them. Good luck to us all.

  4. wow I think I’m on top of things, but this is new to me. Thanks for the one up, PCMatic. I’m only a 3rd year subscriber. I migrated from Kaspersky. I’ve had no problems with malware, viruses, and trojans (old school) with PC Matic. Thanks for your product!

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