This Video Is a Harbinger of Bad Things to Come

We are all keenly aware of the damaging effect that fake news had during the last election cycle — and continues to have. Images manipulated via Photoshop and pre-existing methods have long played a role in disseminating fake information. For some time, we thought we could trust video for the most part, because there was a steep barrier to entry for faking it, but those days are now gone.

Imagine how quickly the erosion of our democracy will accelerate with the tools to do this available to any and every bad actor:

Video Description: The video opens with President Barack Obama wearing a suit and sitting in front of a U.S. flag. Speaking directly to the camera, he says: "We're entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything at any point in time — even if they would never say those things. So, for instance, they could have me say things like, I don't know, [the Black Panther character] Killmonger was right! Or: Ben Carson is in the Sunken Place! Or — how 'bout this? — simply: President Trump is a total and complete dipshit. Now, you see, I would never say these things — at least not in a public address. But someone else would. Someone—" The video turns into a split-screen, and we can see that the actor Jordan Peele is actually speaking, doing his famous Obama impression. "—like Jordan Peele."

As Peele continues to speak as Obama, the Obama avatar speaks in time with Peele. "This is a dangerous time. Moving forward, we need to be more vigilant with what we trust from the internet. It's a time when we need to rely on trusted news sources. It may sound basic, but how we move forward, in the age of information, is gonna be the difference between whether we survive, or whether we become some kind of fucked up dystopia. Thank you. And stay woke, bitches."

* * *

Chilling. We need to be more vigilant than ever.

More here:

David Mack at BuzzFeed: This PSA About Fake News from Barack Obama Is Not What It Appears.

Craig Silverman at BuzzFeed: How to Spot a Deepfake Like the Barack Obama–Jordan Peele Video.

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