Twitter, Facebook Remove 'Deepfake' Video of Zelenskyy Surrendering
If there is one thing that the world has learned about Ukraine throughout this mess, it is that they will never surrender to Russia.
Ukrainians, who have been free from the castigation of the Soviet Union for only a few decades, would rather perish protecting their homeland than succumb to the whims of a madman in Moscow, and this ethos has been apparent in all facets of Ukrainian society. From molotov-cocktail-assembling grandmothers, all the way up to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself, the defiance of Ukraine has made this war impossible to win for Russia.
And so Russia is starting to play very, very dirty.
A fake and heavily manipulated video depicting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy circulated on social media and was placed on a Ukrainian news website by hackers Wednesday before it was debunked and removed.
The video, which shows a rendering of the Ukrainian president appearing to tell his soldiers to lay down their arms and surrender the fight against Russia, is a so-called deepfake that ran about a minute long.Trending:
It is not yet clear who created the deepfake, but government officials in Ukraine have been warning for weeks about the possibility of Russia spreading manipulated videos as part of its information warfare. Ukraine’s military intelligence agency released a video this month about how state-sponsored deepfakes could be used to sow panic and confusion.
Casual observers may have been fooled by the video, but those with even a cursory knowledge of Ukraine and Zelenskyy were quick to recognize the deception.
While the video shows a passable lip-sync, viewers quickly pointed out that Zelenskyy’s accent was off and that his head and voice did not appear authentic upon close inspection.
It didn’t take long for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms to find and remove the video, but experts are concerned that this may be only the beginning of such digital terrorism.