7 Ways To Spot A Deepfake

May 6, 2023

The world today has seemingly been engulfed by technology. It’s true. Can you last a day without picking up your phone and checking your social media? Technologies like artificial intelligence have taken control of people’s lives in countless ways, especially since we let them do so.

One of the most popular forms of artificial intelligence is the deepfake. Deepfake technology can change how we look at things, making us believe something that’s untrue. It creates phenomena such as the Mandela Effect. The name of this phenomenon came from former South African president Nelson Mandela who many people believed died in prison when he actually did not. To learn more about this phenomenon, you can take this Mandela Effect quiz to test your pop culture knowledge.

Deepfakes are both good and bad. And if we are to highlight their bad side, we’ll find out many

things. This is why it is vital that we somehow know how to spot what’s not real and what’s real. This article will look at some proven ways to spot a deepfake. But first (for those hearing about this for the first time), let’s define what a deepfake is.

What Deepfakes Are

The term “deepfake” merges two words: “deep” and fake.” Content classified as deepfake combines machine learning or deep learning concepts with something that is not true.

To be more specific, deepfakes can be anywhere from images and videos to audio clips created using artificial intelligence’s machine-learning algorithms. Deepfakes can replace a real person’s appearance, voice, or both. Deepfakes can develop people and events that do not exist or happen. You can consider deepfakes as a very advanced form of photo editing.

Have you ever heard of the deepfaked CEO who spoke with a person to urge them to deposit money into their account? This has been made using audio deepfakes. Audio deepfakes are among the most rampant forms of this technology. To do this, their makers create “voice skins” or “clones” that enable somebody to pose as the real figure. They are designed to make the listener believe the voice on the other line is somebody you know, like your friend or boss, so they can compel you to do things like send money to their account.

But this is not the only danger of deepfakes.

The Dangers Of Deepfakes

Deepfakes are known to deceive the viewer, making them believe something happened when it did not. This technology has also been used to spread misinformation or, worse, steal identities.

What are the other dangers of deepfakes? Here’s the list:

  • Automated disinformation attacks
  • Phishing and scams
  • Election manipulation
  • Social engineering
  • Celebrity pornography
  • Blackmail
  • Financial fraud
  • And so much more

Deepfakes are so powerful they can massively alter public opinion, threaten cybersecurity, threaten corporate finances, and more. Deepfakes have been used in various scams.

Business Scams

The most common deepfake scam is the example you read earlier. People can receive calls from their “bosses,” “CEO,” or “business partners” asking them to deposit money to their accounts, when in fact, the person on the other line just deepfaked the voice of their bosses, CEO, or business partners.

Social Media Manipulation

Despite its popularity, some people have spoken against social media, saying we should not believe everything we learn about on these platforms. In this particular instance, they are right.

Deepfakes are rampant on social media – from fake news on politics, such as Russia’s president Vladimir Putin kissing the hands of China’s president Xi Jinping, to fake news on entertainment, such as Jon Snow apologizing for the dismal ending of “Game of Thrones.”

Another instance of this danger is, for example, a Twitter profile that looks oh-so-credible, making outrageous tweets to seek attention, but they are actually using another person’s identity.

So what should we do? We need to spot a deepfake. Well, right now, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have banned content categorized as deepfakes. A good way to move forward. However, deepfakes are still found in other places.

Proven Ways To Spot A Deepfake

Among the best ways to combat the dangers of deepfakes, so what we retain is just their good side, is to learn how to spot them. Interesting, right? Here are the ways.

1. Color And Lighting Mismatches

The content you see is on the fake spectrum if you notice odd skin tones and stains, strange lighting, and unusually positioned shadows. Take note of these appearances if you are watching a video, especially a clip that has gone viral.

2. Unnatural Eye Movements

Have you ever heard of this recent technology from NVIDIA that lets you stay with eye contact in virtual meetings even if you are not actually looking at the camera? This deepfake technology is helpful, but what about unnatural eye moments with bad deepfakes?

If you see content where eye movements appear unnatural or where there is no eye movement at all, such as no blinking, the content may be deepfaked.

3. Odd Body Shape Or Movement

Strange body shapes and movements are other attributes to look at when spotting a deepfake. If somebody on the clip becomes distorted when turning to the side or moving their head, what you’re watching may not be authentic.

Or, if movements are disconnected and choppy as the video’s frame moves, you may be watching deepfake content.

4. Sound Quality

While many deepfakes are usually visual, some creators create deepfaked audio content. But you can spot if they are fake.

Watch out for robotic voices, poor lip-syncing, digital background noise, unusual word pronunciation, or even the lack of audio.

5. Unnatural Positions Of Facial Features

If the facial features of the person on the content you are looking at are unnatural, such as the nose’s position, or if the face and nose are pointing in different directions, there is a higher chance the content is deepfaked.

6. Artificial Facial Movements

This is relatively easier to spot. If the video you are watching has the person’s face not displaying the emotions as to what they are saying, or if you see image stitching or facial morphing, the content you are viewing could be deepfaked.

7. Awkward Physique Or Posture

Deepfakes are fake, so they are not perfect. You can easily spot deepfaked content when the subject’s body shape does not look natural, or their head and body are in awkward positions. Deepfake technology usually does it well on facial features but still needs to improve when altering one’s body.

End The Ill-Effects Of Deepfakes Once And For All

If you happen to own a business and you are using deepfake technology, say, to provide a more presentable image of the products you offer, such as food, to your consumers, then good. You understand the angelic side of deepfakes. But for their bad side, you’ve got to be vigilant.

Understanding deepfakes is one thing, but knowing how to spot one is another. Deepfakes are almost uncontrollable. With all the technologies available, everybody can create deepfaked content. Deepfakes are here to stay, and they will evolve too. Thus, you must know how to identify them.


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