Blog 22 Feb 2024
Celeb Deepfakes

Celebrity Deepfake | A Rising Threat with Reputational and Financial Consequences

Author: admin | 22 Feb 2024

Digital technologies make it complicated to differentiate between fake and real media, and the most recent development causing the problem is the emergence of “deepfake”. These are hyper-realistic videos posing someone as they speak and do every action. Connected with the speed and reach of social media, deepfakes instantly reach thousands of people and negatively impact society. 

Celebrity deepfakes, whether voice or visual, are increasing on social media platforms as artificial intelligence (AI) tools are available more than ever. Celebrity’s complete data can be accessible online, so they are more likely to become the target of non consensual deepfakes. Celebrities like Taylor Swift, Tom Hanks, and Late Morgan Freeman have deepfake videos. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Celebrity deepfake is rising with the advent of technological advancement. 
  • Different states have made rules for non-consensual deepfakes.
  • Deepfakes seem to be a rising threat with possible consequences for businesses and individuals. 

What is Deepfake Technology?

Deepfake is an AI application that blends, merges, replaces, and superimposes video clips and images to make fake clips seem real. Deepfake technology generates pornographic, humorous, and political videos of an individual saying anything without the parties’ permission. The groundbreaking factor of deepfake is the scale, scope, and advanced technology involved, as everyone can make deepfake videos that can’t be differentiated from real ones. Deepfake combines “fake” and “deep learning”, close to real videos intended to digitally manipulate people by saying and doing actions that never happened. 

Deepfake technology – audio, video, and images damage the reputation of influencers, celebrities, and politicians in the public eye. Celebrities are frequent targets of deepfake technology. 

High-Profile Celebrity Deepfake Cases

Celebrity deepfake is trending on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, which seems to be harmless and artistic work. Among many examples of AI deepfake, one is revenge porn and non-political or political influencing. Scammers usually focus on politicians, corporate leaders, and celebrities, as social media are full of images and videos that are enough to make their deepfakes. Many are pranks, funny memes, and goofs with satirical or comedic effects. 

For example, Nicolas Cage acts in movies like Terminator 2 or Indiana Jones in a movie he never made. In another celebrity deepfake video, Alden Ehrenreich was replaced with Harrison Ford, taken from A Star Wars Story. Some dead celebrity deepfakes, such as band Queen’s ex-vocalist Freddie Mercury’s face, were placed on actor Rami Malek’s. 

Fake AI Deepfake Images of Taylor Swift Flood In

AI allows everyone to make up images, and it’s harder to tell if they are real or fake. That’s what happened in late January with Taylor Swift, as her counterfeit images were gushed at social media. Many people widely shared her images without knowing if they were fake, drawing everyone’s attention. 

X, formerly recognised as Twitter, posted that they are working on removing all Taylor Swift images and will take legal action against those who published them.

One Taylor post on X remained for at least 17 hours, having more than 45 million views, forcing X to take action and block all content with a return notification: “Something went wrong, Try again”. This incident also drew the attention of the White House, urging Congress to consider legislation to punish abusive and fake images online. 

Deepfake of Oscar Winning Actor – Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks warned his fans about deepfake advertisements made without his consent. He shared an advertisement on Instagram that falsely portrayed him, not revealing the complete identity of someone who made the dental ad. 

Tom Hanks talked about deepfake technology during a podcast with “The Adam Buxton” and said he got to know about AI when he was producing an animated film, “The Polar Express”, in 2004. 

“We saw that there was going to be this ability in order to take zeros and ones inside a computer and turn it into a face and a character,” he said at the time. “Now, that has only grown a billion-fold since then, and we see it everywhere.” Tom Hanks

Deepfake Leads to Loose $25 Million of Multinational Company 

In Hong Kong, a finance employee at a multinational company was scammed through a deepfake of a CFO asking for $25 million. At first, he thought that it could be a scam, but he transferred a huge amount of money after seeing many company employees on a video call. 

Those employees were actually a deepfake presentation of employees, according to police. “(In the) multi-person video conference, it turns out that everyone [he saw] was fake,” senior superintendent Baron Chan Shun-ching told the city’s public broadcaster RTHK.

Celebrity Infographic

The Manipulative Side of Social Media 

In social media posts, Jennifer Aniston sells a MacBook for only $10. How? The MacBook isn’t as cheap as she is selling. Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, and Kylie Jenner provide investment opportunities and product giveaways. However, everyone knows that their voices were played over real celebrity clips. Scammers attempt to damage the authenticity of famous websites such as New York by making their deepfake. All comes under cloning, where the voice of any famous personality is used to deceive others. 

Beware Celebrity Deepfake! 10 States Where It’s Illegal

The following states have set laws and remedies for non-consensual deepfake:

1. Florida 

In 2022, Florida passed a law restricting the dissemination of deepfake images by saying that it’s a third-degree crime with a maximum of 5 years of jail, five years probation, and a $5000 fine. 

2. California 

California state made a law in 2020 allowing deepfake victims to sue scammers who made and shared content without individual consent. They have a fine of $150,000 if the deepfake detection proves accurate and contains malicious content.  

3. Hawaii 

Hawaii made a law against deepfake that states the disclosure, intentional creation, and threat of disclosure of sexually deepfake videos or images. It’s also a C-Class felony and punishable by more than five years in jail and a fine of upto $10,000. 

4. Georgia

Georgia banned the digital dissemination of counterfeit images or videos in 2020.  

5. Minnesota 

In 2023, Minnesota state prohibited making sexual deepfakes and their usage in elections. Its distributor of images or videos will face a fine of $10,000 and 5 years in prison. 

6. Texas

Nonconsensual and sexual deepfakes are punishable by one year in jail and a fine of $4000, according to the 2023 rule. 

7. New York 

New York prohibited the distribution of sexual and pornographic pictures made by using AI, resulting in a $1000 fine and one year jail. 

8. Virginia

In 2019, Virginia passed a law related to revenge porn as a part of existing law about “falsely make still or videographic image. Sharer has to pay a $2500 fine or spend one year in jail. 

9. Illinois 

Illinois state amendment law was made in 2015 to help victims of revenge porn. The law states that victims can sue the ones who made counterfeit images or videos.

10. South Dakota 

In 2022, South Dakota made a Class 1 misdemeanor to make deepfake pornography of a victim, specifically when the target is below 17 and the preparator is mature. The sharer is punishable for two years and a fine of $4000. 

Deepfakes threaten society, businesses, celebrities, and politicians, which can be hindered through regulation, legislation, voluntary action, training, education, and technological development such as facia- a pioneer in face recognition technology that takes less than one second to verify the user. 

Combat Celebrity Deepfake with Facia’s Face Recognition Technology

Celebrity deepfakes are common nowadays as scammers take advantage of technological advancement. Politicians and celebrities often have exclusive events or restricted access areas. Facia’s face recognition technology controls access and ensures only trusted staff can enter the premises. 

Facia helps identify threats and people with harmful intentions during concerts, public appearances, and events. Influencers can implement liveness detection features to recognise and give a response to security threats quickly. To prevent deepfakes, face recognition can be implemented to regulate and monitor the usage of surveillance cameras in public places to restrict non-consensual image capturing. 

Don’t fall for Deepfake attacks; take action now by availing our services! Talk to our experts.

Related Recommendations:

How Biometric Liveness Detection Shields Businesses from Deepfakes

Multinational Employee Loses $25 Million in CFO DeepFake Scam

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Deepfake?

A deepfake is a fabricated image, audio, or video that uses artificial intelligence to replace a real user with someone else.

Is Deepfakes Illegal?

Yes, deepfake is illegal in many countries. The United States doesn’t have any proper laws, but other countries have laws that strongly condemn it.

Who are the Famous Victims of Deepfakes?

Taylor Swift, Scarlett Johansson, and Tom Hanks are famous victims of deepfakes. It’s essential to know that these are just examples, and the list continues to grow.