back to article Help. The political process is corrupted, full of lies and state-sponsored deep fakes. Now Microsoft's to the rescue

With a US presidential election nearly upon us, the past week has seen a worrying jump in the number of lies, misinformation and state-sponsored efforts to sow discontent. The most notable examples have seen doctored videos pushed and published through social media, including one that appears to show Democratic candidate Joe …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    My impression is that this is going to red flag anything that has detectable post production signatures so that's 90% or more of photos and presumably a fair amount of videos.

    Or is it smarter than that?

    1. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Welcome...

      ... to the downfall of society. Where Facebook and Twitter posts have replaced the news. Where opinions are presented as fact without any supporting evidence. Where Fake News is just news. Where the Flat Earth Society is increasing in numbers year after year.

      Monumental ignorance growing to a planetary scale.

      The human race is doomed.

  2. Hawkeye Pierce

    Seriously?

    Are you telling me that having said that it adds "digital hashes and certificates" to content and that it provides a "high degree of accuracy" of authenticity, that not once could they shoehorn the work "blockchain" in there?

    This is either fake news or standards at Microsoft's PR division are slipping.

    1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Seriously?

      Are you telling me that having said that it adds "digital hashes and certificates" to content and that it provides a "high degree of accuracy" of authenticity, that not once could they shoehorn the work "blockchain" in there?

      Fake photos have been around since almost the dawn of photography. Misinformation was alive and kicking thousands of years before the invention of the printing press. What we are seeing is simply a change in delivery mechanism.

      The solutions are the same as they have always been, which are all based on knowing who the publisher is. Social media accounts will eventually cease to be anonymous and their users will have to provide proper credentials, at least to the corporations who run the sites.

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        The solutions are the same as they have always been, which are all based on knowing who the publisher is

        I disagree. Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. If not, it ends like in China where no anonymity is allowed to better punish the 'deviant ones'.

        The solution is always educating people, learning them to decode manipulation, not to trust blindly information without confirmation, to get and keep a critical mind.

        1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Seriously?

          I disagree. Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. If not, it ends like in China where no anonymity is allowed to better punish the 'deviant ones'....

          The solution is always educating people, learning them to decode manipulation, not to trust blindly information without confirmation, to get and keep a critical mind.

          There is a cost and a benefit. At the moment the cost appears to greatly outweigh the benefit. Your protection of the "deviant ones" is also protection for the toll farms and sock puppets who are now an existential threat to our democracy. Perhaps a compromise would be that we should have to provide authenticated credentials to social media sites, so make it harder to run a hundred automated sock puppet accounts, but retain pseudonymous usernames.

          Forget education. It is easy to take a donkey to the water, but if we have learnt anything from over a century of mandatory education, it is how hard it is to force a great many donkeys to drink. Thinking is not difficult, but it requires deliberate effort. Most stupid people are stupid through choice. They can't be bothered to think.

          1. overunder Silver badge

            Re: Seriously?

            "At the moment the cost appears to greatly outweigh the benefit. "

            As soon as you authenticate, you've elected a judge. How much $$$ to be that judge? Apparently, Microsoft has enough $$$, who else would bid?

            BTW, disclosure != honesty, as the best lies are formed with truth. ie. "Humans are intelligent".

          2. Claptrap314 Silver badge

            Re: Seriously?

            If you think our education system today is attempting to teach students to think, you need to rethink what thinking is.

            Education is always about inculcation. Always.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Seriously?

              Very true.

              Thinking of practical ways to apply information learned in say, chemistry class, very nearly got me expelled.

              The fire went out, anyway. Buncha soreheads.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Seriously?

            Then stop supporting them when they fail.

        2. theOtherJT

          Re: Seriously?

          Whilst I entirely agree about the value of anonymity, I'd like to point out that educating people - especially about things they're not really interested in - is probably the single hardest job in the world and we've had decidedly limited success with it so far.

          1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

            Re: Seriously?

            Many people use term “educating” when they mean “brainwashing into my ideology”.

            1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: Seriously?

              Many people use term “educating” when they mean “brainwashing into my ideology".

              The original poster posited that "The solution is always educating people, learning them to decode manipulation, not to trust blindly information without confirmation, to get and keep a critical mind." That is not the same as “brainwashing into my ideology", and I am not sure he had schools in mind. My objection to this as a solution is that most people can't be arsed to think.

              The Nobel prizewinning psychologist Daniel Kahneman classified thinking as "Type 1" and "Type 2". Type 1 thinking uses instinct, gut feeling, habit and learned unconscious behaviour (e.g. driving). It takes very little effort because it is just unconscious pattern matching, but is highly susceptible to cognitive biases and errors. Type 2 thinking is the sort that requires conscious effort, and is what most people consider to be "thinking". It is not difficult, but it is slow and tiring. A large proportion of the population almost never bother with Type 2 thinking, out of laziness, and educating them isn't going to change that.

              1. Man inna barrel

                Re: Seriously?

                Most people do not think about stuff too much because they do not want to, and they can get by and enjoy life without having to think. I am not sure that people resist thinking because it is difficult. Perhaps one of the problems is that thinking can make you see things that are unpleasant, depending on what you think about. For example, one of the fundamental points about thinking is that it reveals your ignorance. People do not like to believe they are ignorant, so they avoid thinking.

  3. osakajin Bronze badge

    The only way to be sure you're not exposed to this nonsense is to turn off all media.

    1. Graybyrd
      Devil

      Like, set in stone

      Education? Disclosure? Persuasion? Right... ! Whatever you say. The annals of history bear the effectiveness of _that_ approach. Damned fools. Please recall that all politics are tribal; once we've settled in and gotten comfortable with our group opinion there's no facts or arguments that do anything more than solidify our conviction that we are right and you are not only wrong, but need dealt with!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Double check everything

    It isn't enough to tell if a video is manipulated when actual real content is made with hired actors.

    IMHO ask the questions: "where are the cameras?" "can I add a person saying 'action' just before the scene begins, is there a director?", "is the audio good quality?" and that will give you an indicator as to the fake nature of these un-manipulated but fake videos.

    Is there an instigator in the scene? Is he getting attacked to show his victimhood for his camera crew to film? He hired a camera crew yet not security guards, and the camera crew don't fear they will be attacked? Fake. The attackers are actors, no 'star' will actually risk bodily harm and potentially maiming or death for a video when bit part actors are cheaper than healthcare. No camera crew will put themselves in harms way like that, and no attacker will focus on the person they're supposed to be attacking for the scene, and ignore the camera crew and security team filming him.

    -------

    So they took an old video of Harry Belafonte falling asleep on TV and modified it to look like Biden and Trump tweets it. You've revealed the fakeness, so you've won right? Not really. You've formed part of the distraction. Look around, what are you not supposed to be looking at?

    Matt Drudge of Drudge Report read the "Mike Pence was put on standby last year when Trump was taken to hospital' book:

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/pence-dont-recall-put-on-standby-trump

    He trawled through subsequent video, found Trump's inability to control his right foot, and claimed Trump had a mini stroke citing the video as evidence.

    So off we go with Belafonte distraction time.

    -------

    It's far more malicious than simply changing people's perceptions during an election. They are trying to genuinely cause violence and stir up hate and killings. You see the killings and the militia Trump called "Great Patriots" recently. Each group crosses state lines to ensure its a Federal Crime, the type Trump can pardon. They go kill a few protestors, then he and Fox News and other Murdoch press, promote them as the good guys.

    Fox News pundits and Trump does the "Antifa will kill your children", and Antifa Facebook and Twitter accounts will spew out "lets kill their children" messages to reinforce the lie, but they're the same group.

    Russians troll farm pretending to be Antifa

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/blakemontgomery/fake-antifa-account-russia-geotag

    White supremacists pretend to be Antifa:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8378767/Twitter-shuts-Antifa-account-run-white-supremacist-group-urging-violence.html

    More Russian troll farms pretending to be Antifa

    https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-antifa-twitter-fake/fact-check-antifa-twitter-account-that-called-for-violence-was-fake-idUSKBN23B2TY

    It's the Reichstag fire approach to propaganda:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_fire

    If there were camera-phones then, those videos would record the fire and the videos would all be real and form part of the propaganda to seize power, the the narrative is fake. Fabricated by professional liars to manipulate an election.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Double check everything

      As far as being aware of what you're watching, I completely agree that the questions you ask are good questions and worth it to ensure that you're not being had by a staged video. However, it is obvious that Borkzilla's Video Authenticator will not detect those videos, because they are, technically, real. Only human analysis can detect the fakeness there.

      But I disagree when you state that racists militia is crossing state borders on purpose because Trump can pardon them. That Trump will still be there to pardon them when their case comes to court is not guaranteed. On the other hand, they're obviously stupid enough to go and kill people just because they are not of the same color, so maybe they can't actually think that far ahead.

      Ugh. The United States is now officially a shithole country.

      1. Qumefox

        Re: Double check everything

        "Ugh. The United States is now officially a shithole country."

        Hate to tell you, but it has been for a while. This isn't a recent development.

        Though I would argue that it's hardly confined to the United States. There are very very few nations that haven't been guilty of oppressing someone else over ethnicity, religion, etc. China's current oppression of the uighurs is a good example.

        The US is just in the spotlight so much now because the man-baby running the joint throws a tantrum every time it starts shifting somewhere else so he can keep all eyes on him.

        The real truth is that humanity just sucks.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Double check everything

      The attackers are actors, no 'star' will actually risk bodily harm and potentially maiming or death for a video when bit part actors are cheaper than healthcare. No camera crew will put themselves in harms way like that

      Except that's not true. Some are willing to do that and are prepared to martyr themselves for the cause.

      Poking a dog with a stick to make it bite to prove the assertion it's dangerous is an old trope. Best caught on camera so others can see its veracity, and these days widely spread on social media by the circle jerk rabble of propagandists.

  5. 45RPM

    We live in a world where the President of the US espouses conspiracy theories promoted by QAnon, and people still justify what he’s done and plan to vote for him - even people who read The Register, and should really know better (or, at least, be better at critical thinking) and should understand the catastrophic damage that he’s doing.

    We live in a world where people shout loudly about how undemocratic the EU is (it isn’t), and spread half assed lies that they read on social media in order further the cause of European disintegration (when we know, from history, how dangerous that road is).

    Social media and the internet, far from promoting harmony, peace and understanding, is just fanning the flames and making matters worse. I worry for the future. The penalty for promulgating lies and deep fakes, whatever your platform, should be punitive. I can’t think of a good reason why those at the top, those who benefit most, Zuckerberg, Trump, Dorsey, Murdoch etc shouldn’t face long prison terms and confiscation of assets if they allow this situation to continue.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Muppet politics

      All of the candidates are responsable, Trump is no more and no less responsable than Biden and the rest of the American system. They are all involved in these ridiculous "politics"..

      It's a muppet game where every muppet tries to out-muppet the other using techniques that would make a muppet blush....

      And I agree that Zuckerberg, Trump, Dorsey, Murdoch et al should be help responsible for fanning the flames..

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Muppet politics

        All of the candidates are responsable

        Very fine people on both sides?

      2. 45RPM

        Re: Muppet politics

        That's a fallacious argument if ever I saw one. No one is saying that Biden, Clinton, Obama or any other Democrat is perfect - but, objectively speaking (and if you put your critical thinking cap on for one moment), he's a hell of a sight better than anyone in the current Republican leadership - and consider that quite a few prominent Republicans think the same (https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/18/politics/republicans-supporting-biden/index.html)

        Biden, it's true, has made problematic (to pick the euphemism du jour) statements on race, sexuality etc - but so have most people to one extent or another. But, and certainly in comparison with Trump, Biden is considerate (so no more exciting tweets or 3AM hate storms), he isn't racist, homophobic, misogynist, divisive or prone to gobbling up conspiracy theories. And I'd argue that if you can't trust someone not to cheat on the golf course (or any other game) you definitely shouldn't be trusting them with the most powerful job in the world.

        So is Trump 'no less responsible than Biden'? That's bollocks. Trump is a disaster - a responsibility blackhole. Biden is several orders of magnitude worse than Trump. You could grab almost anyone off the street and they'd do a better job than Trump. And if you think that Biden and Trump are equivalent then you really haven't been paying attention.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Muppet politics

          @45RPM

          "No one is saying that Biden, Clinton, Obama or any other Democrat is perfect - but, objectively speaking (and if you put your critical thinking cap on for one moment), he's a hell of a sight better than anyone in the current Republican leadership"

          That depends on your objectives I guess.

          1. 45RPM

            Re: Muppet politics

            True enough. If you want to increase division in the world, foment racism, homophobia, sexism and violence, encourage nepotism, ruin the environment, and generally hold back the advancement of human civilisation as a whole then Trump is the perfect candidate.

            Of course, anyone who has those objectives is a horrible human being, who should probably seek help for their considerable character defects.

            I'm not saying that Republicanism as a whole is a bad thing (it isn't my cup of tea, but I know a few rational, sane, people on the (centre) right wing of politics). I am saying that Trumpism is entirely objectionable, and based on lies, prejudice and conspiracy theory. And there's enough evidence* out there to back me up in this opinion.

            *you know - real, hard evidence. Not mere conjecture, conspiracy theory and stuff off of social media.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Muppet politics

              @45RPM

              "True enough. If you want to increase division in the world, foment racism, homophobia, sexism and violence, encourage nepotism, ruin the environment, and generally hold back the advancement of human civilisation as a whole then Trump is the perfect candidate."

              That might be your opinion but objectively its a bit different.

              1. 45RPM

                Re: Muppet politics

                No. It really isn't. The narrative from the Trumpists is a bit different (for example, that Trump is the least racist person ever, or that defunding the police means no-funding them*, the idea that global warming isn't a thing and that going full tilt on fossil fuels is a good idea, the concept that grabbing women by the pussy is acceptable behaviour - I could go on, and what's more there's evidence for all of it). Objectively, Trumpism is a disgrace and an embarrassment and it only weakens America in the eyes of the world.

                *rather than much needed root and branch reform and a demilitarisation of the police. Seriously, I've been to the US several times. I've seen the police there. And whilst there may be a few good police officers, the majority act like a bunch of bloody children. They aren't approachable. They aren't trustworthy. I can't imagine that anyone would ever approach them and ask them for directions or help. The US Police, in short, are a hopeless bloody shower who give policing a bad name. The police in the UK are hardly perfect - especially in matters of race - but they're a paragon of restraint and helpfulness compared with what you've got in the states. Defund? Hell yes.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Muppet politics

                  @45RPM

                  "Objectively, Trumpism is a disgrace and an embarrassment and it only weakens America in the eyes of the world."

                  That is your opinion and it is probably shared with some others, but it is your opinion. The opposite opinion also exists. Objectivity is somewhere between.

                  "The US Police, in short, are a hopeless bloody shower who give policing a bad name. The police in the UK are hardly perfect - especially in matters of race - but they're a paragon of restraint and helpfulness compared with what you've got in the states. Defund? Hell yes."

                  Which police? Local? State? Fed? Do you blame Trump for all officers or just the few bad ones? Is he to blame when he is offering federal assistance to cities who's police dont seem able to handle the riots? Or is it the governers not accepting assistance and not allowing action?

                  1. 45RPM

                    Re: Muppet politics

                    I don't blame Trump for all the problems of US Policing - the rot goes deeper than that, and has been going on for longer than that (right back to prohibition, in terms of militarisation, and right back to the foundation of the police in terms of racism and prejudice). Trump is certainly doing all that he can to make the problem worse.

                    As for 'The Riots' they started as peaceful protests - noisy, perhaps, but not violent, and in most cases they would have remained peaceful if the police hadn't barged in like a bunch of over-stimulated school boys. Trump then fanned the flames by 'offering federal assistance' - or, in other words, sending in a defacto secret police (faces hidden, no numbers, unmarked cars) where his assistance was not wanted. And if you aren't terrified by the idea that the police are armed and unaccountable, why aren't you? Do you think that the US needs to have its own Stasi, Gestapo, KGB, FSB like every other self respecting dictatorship?

                    Take a look at this list of countries, and tell me honestly if you think that this is a club that the US should be a member of. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_secret_police_organizations

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: Muppet politics

                      @45RPM

                      "Trump is certainly doing all that he can to make the problem worse."

                      How? Offering federal assistance to cities which are suffering riots? Places where the police dont seem able or willing to deal with the riots?

                      "As for 'The Riots' they started as peaceful protests - noisy, perhaps, but not violent"

                      Statues ripped up, destruction of public and private property, people killed and crippled. Not very peaceful.

                      "Trump then fanned the flames by 'offering federal assistance'"

                      So Trump should sit back and let the riots go on while the police are told not to interfere or are not able/willing to?

                      "where his assistance was not wanted"

                      Governers ask for assistance generally. Which is why the Portland mayor looked like a moron trying to blame Trump. As Trump said the National Guard are ready and waiting to be asked for assistance.

                      "And if you aren't terrified by the idea that the police are armed and unaccountable, why aren't you?"

                      That being the police going through judicial process for their actions? Because mob justice is not justice. And they are accountable.

                      "Do you think that the US needs to have its own Stasi, Gestapo, KGB, FSB like every other self respecting dictatorship?"

                      Of course not which is why the left arguments of a dictatorship have people falling over laughing. Its the usual crap without a clue.

                  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

                    Re: Muppet politics

                    So much whataboutery, so little time. It's not a chicken and egg problem, there is a timeline.

                    1) Police kill George Floyd.

                    2) Peaceful protest (a constitutional right).

                    3) Protests about police brutality are met with wave of police brutality across US

                    4) Trump sends in the stormtroopers, first to Portland in Oregon, later to other state capitals.

                    5) Jacob Blake shot in the back seven times while going about his business and paralysed. More protests.

                    6) White 17-year-old child with an assault rifle forming part of the so-called militia allowed to kill two black people and walk through police lines.

                    Various appearances by Trump throughout all this calculated to enrage matters even more, and sending in his federal goon squad if he thinks he can get away with it.

                    Those are the objective facts.

                    Obviously the playbook is fomenting division, blaming everything that can be blamed on black people as a whole if it a black person is accused of something, forgiving everything that can be forgiven if it was a white person who did something, and sending in the stormtroopers on every excuse. That's his election plan.

                    Quite obviously they are not all as bad as each other, because Trump is objectively worse and America has a big policing problem which has been allowed to fester by Trump. He's not responsible for it, but he sure as hell isn't doing anything about it.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: Muppet politics

                      @Dan 55

                      You seem to have missed something about statues being torn down, damage to public and private property, federal buildings attacked, people being crippled and killed, etc.

                      1. 45RPM

                        Re: Muppet politics

                        No - he got that, and he provided facts that YOU can verify if you have a mind to. You seem to be more intent on presenting some kind of equivalence between Trump and his competitors, or worse suggesting that Trump is the right man for the job, and that you are being objective. You aren't. You're ignoring the facts to suit your own narrow minded narrative (yes, yes, I know you'll accuse me of doing the same thing. The problem is that the objective evidence supports my argument and undermines your - unless you decide that QAnon is a provider of objective evidence (which it most certainly isn't)).

                        As for statues being torn down, I think I'd be inclined to tear down a statue or two, no matter how artistic, if someone erected a statue of <insert name of person who committed crimes against humanity here *> in my home town.

                        You'll notice that we had quite a few protests in the UK as well in recent months. They didn't turn to the sorts of violence witnessed in the US though, because we didn't send in secret police or tacitly support an imbecile militia.

                        * There are plenty to choose from.

                        1. codejunky Silver badge

                          Re: Muppet politics

                          @45RPM

                          "No - he got that"

                          Reread his list. Nope he didnt mention- 'statues being torn down, damage to public and private property, federal buildings attacked, people being crippled and killed, etc.'

                          "You seem to be more intent on presenting some kind of equivalence between Trump and his competitors"

                          Did I mention any competitors? You are the one blaming Trump for officers. Dan 55 seems to be missing a large and important part of what has been happening. I am adding the objectivity you guys dont seem to be having.

                          "or worse suggesting that Trump is the right man for the job"

                          So your bias. Trump is to blame for everything, etc. As per your opinion above, that is your opinion. Objectively that isnt.

                          "You're ignoring the facts to suit your own narrow minded narrative (yes, yes, I know you'll accuse me of doing the same thing"

                          You could stop your sentence there. Damn right I accuse you of ignoring facts to claim some objective view where 'Orange man bad'.

                          "As for statues being torn down, I think I'd be inclined to tear down a statue or two, no matter how artistic, if someone erected a statue of <insert name of person who committed crimes against humanity here *> in my home town."

                          Ahhh the insanity being justified. At what point did criminal damage become ok due to mob rule?

                          "You'll notice that we had quite a few protests in the UK as well in recent months."

                          Yes. Again criminal damage as another statue ripped up. Graffiti and violent assaults on police. Plus an amusing claim of racism-

                          https://www.continentaltelegraph.com/2020/06/stu-peters-and-manx-radio-its-amazing-whats-called-racism-these-days/

                          "They didn't turn to the sorts of violence witnessed in the US though, because we didn't send in secret police or tacitly support an imbecile militia."

                          Erm-

                          Violence against police- https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/london-black-lives-matter-protests-churchill-metropolitan-police-a4462231.html

                          Our own right wing mob- https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-53037767

                          And in the US the Federal Agencies were called to help AFTER the violence got out of control.

                      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
                        Meh

                        Re: Muppet politics

                        Statues - The confederate statues should have been taken down years ago (Mitch Landrieu, then mayor of New Orleans, 20 min speech).

                        Federal buildings attacked - Does graffiti warrent stormtroopers?

                        Damage to public and private property - want to itemise it or is it more graffiti?

                        People being crippled and killed - er, yes, that's what the demonstrations are about, I mentioned that above.

                        1. codejunky Silver badge

                          Re: Muppet politics

                          @Dan 55

                          "Statues - The confederate statues should have been taken down years ago (Mitch Landrieu, then mayor of New Orleans, 20 min speech)."

                          Yet they were up until violent thugs imposed their will.

                          "Federal buildings attacked - Does graffiti warrent stormtroopers?"

                          Performed by??? 'Violent anarchists'. Are they violent because they have paint? Or are they violent and have paint? Thanks for providing a source to refute you.

                          "Damage to public and private property - want to itemise it or is it more graffiti?"

                          Statues, looting, fires. Throwing molotovs and trying to burn down federal buildings isnt graffiti. Reporting for just portland- https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/portland-protests-ongoing-unrest-200831150304324.html

                          More general- https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/07/25/seattle-police-declare-riot-renewed-black-lives-matter-protests/

                          "People being crippled and killed - er, yes, that's what the demonstrations are about, I mentioned that above."

                          Doing. Not about but doing. Hence the response from federal agencies to actually deal with the mob.

                          1. 45RPM

                            Re: Muppet politics

                            Did you read that article that you posted a link to? Let me help:

                            Demonstrators are calling for an end to systemic racism. Seems like a good thing to demonstrate about, don't you think?

                            With regard to the shooting of Jacob Blake (a 29 year old, shot by the police - see my earlier point), Kyle Rittenhouse (far right, and a self confessed Trump supporter) shot and killed BLM protestors.

                            As you say, some of the demonstrations have been violent (and other peaceful) the evidence suggests that they were peaceful until the police, the secret police and far right militia weighed in. And would you call people in Nazi Germany who destroyed Gestapo property vandals, or would you consider that they had just cause? I think that if peaceful protestors are shot and kidnapped by the police then the analogy is fair, I'm afraid. And the article doesn't note which side the vandals were on. Carrying on…

                            Police responded with tear gas, stun and smoke grenades and plastic bullets. Federal troops were seen kidnapping unarmed protesters and taking them away in unmarked vehicles, and attacking observers and journalists.Remember I said Gestapo? Yeah. That.

                            There have been many groups of protestors, some unaffiliated with BLM. I think that we can take it as read that Patriot Prayer and other far right organisations are not their with peaceful intent - they have form for violence (they support Trump too, incidentally).

                            Is Antifa involved? Well, there are people with Anti Fascist views there surely we can take it as read that Hitler, Mussolini, et al were not good people, and that being anti fascism is a good thing? As for Antifa being an organised thing, it isn't. At least, not outside Trump's conspiracy theory fantasies

                            Matters are likely to get worse, with Trump supporters going to Portland and with Trump's support.Want to see peace in Portland? Trump supporters and his secret police need to GTFO

                            This is right - Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler asked those who wanted to come to Portland to "seek retribution" to stay away.

                            "If you're from out of town and you're reading something on social media - if you're reading any facts on social media - they're probably wrong because we don't have all the facts yet," Wheeler said. "This is not the time to get hotheaded because you read something on Twitter that some guy made up in his mother's basement."

                            So kudos to you to quote something that wasn't Fox News, or QAnon. Serious credit for picking a credible news agency. It was a ballsy move on your part. But remember, when you actually read the story with a critical head one, it might not actually support your narrative - as in this case.

                            1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

                              1. Dan 55 Silver badge
                                Meh

                                Re: Muppet politics

                                I do prefer to work with facts

                                This software, if it actually works, is something that would obviously threaten the tower of lies belonging to the Trump administration more than any other group or organisation so rather than address that you would argue that the lies are truth.

                                Considering you believe some people painting graffiti are "violent anarchists" because the Trump administration says so when it was just an excuse to send in unmarked federal stormtroopers, you think Antifa is an actual organisation with funding and a hierarchy instead of just people demonstrating against police brutality, you think the police are entitled to use any and all weapons on the previous flimsy pretext (you have trouble understanding a timeline of events and therefore what cause and effect are), you seem to be unable to understand that the mayor of Portland can't calm things down when there is a police force outside his control stoking things up, and your crowning argument is blurbering "Your the fuckwit", it's obvious you prefer to work with your special "alternative" facts.

                                I.e. you don't have a Scooby Doo. You do however have all day to repeatedly post bollocks way past the point of where normal people would stop after having their arse handed to them on a plate, time and time again.

                                1. codejunky Silver badge

                                  Re: Muppet politics

                                  @Dan 55

                                  "Considering you believe some people painting graffiti are "violent anarchists""

                                  How does that work? I provided 2 links both discussing the violent protests. From the aljazeera link-

                                  The demonstrations have been both peaceful and violent. Protesters have vandalised police vehicles and Portland's Federal Courthouse. There have been reports of looting, too.

                                  You guys seem to be trying to conflate peaceful protest with violence and crime. Hell the other guy keeps trying to tell me Trump is Hitler. Both of you seem to be trying to justify criminal damage by tearing down statues, 45RPM from an emotional view and you referencing a mayor. You both seem to shrug off the violence of the riots (get that word) while trying to blame the police for acting. I cannot believe you two.

                                  "some people painting graffiti are "violent anarchists""

                                  Holy hell, looting, violence, criminal damage and your trying to laugh it off as graffiti? Even the more sympathetic papers struggle to avoid mentioning the violence because it is a major issue.

                                  "you think the police are entitled to use any and all weapons on the previous flimsy pretext"

                                  Again you laugh off violence and criminal behaviour as flimsy. What is wrong with you?

                                  "you seem to be unable to understand that the mayor of Portland can't calm things"

                                  Thats ok, he can call for the national guard to help? Trump gets blamed for the violence and counter violence yet Trump offered the resources to bring order back to the streets.

                                  "when there is a police force outside his control stoking things up,"

                                  Eh? 100 days of protests which are noted as violent with looting and your blaming police for stepping in?

                                  "and your crowning argument is blurbering "Your the fuckwit""

                                  If you take that as the crowning argument instead of the constant explanations of how you guys are wrong then feel free to wear the cap.

                                  "where normal people would stop after having their arse handed to them on a plate, time and time again."

                                  Feel free to. I dont consider my ass handed to me when your trying to justify criminal behaviour-

                                  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/chad-wolf-dhs-portland-protests-leaders-lawlessness-and-chaos-face-the-nation/

                                  You can complain about 'stormtroopers' but where is any solution to this violence? Months of waiting for the police to sort it out or ask for help from the gov. And of course its getting worse and the police dont seem happy putting their lives on the line when the politicians are refusing to do their bit-

                                  https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/sep/1/portland-riots-reach-new-levels-city-struggles-ans/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

                                  1. 45RPM

                                    Re: Muppet politics

                                    I pointed out to you that the protests were entirely peaceful until the police and far right extremists weighed in. That’s a fact - although if you can show me convincing counter arguments then I’ll read them. Remember that Trump is so over sensitive that he even objects to taking a knee - let alone dissenters walking through the streets with banners.

                                    And no, I don’t think that pulling down statues counts as violence. And I don’t think that pointing out that these statues were of reprehensible people counts as emotional either.

                                    Neither, incidentally, is it emotional to point out to you that possession of a secret police force is the sort of thing that only dystopian states do. If the cap fits…

                                    I know that it’s hard to have your world view challenged, but it is important for the whole world to understand that yes, the orange man is bad. Not because he’s orange, but because of what he stands for. Biden isn’t perfect - but we’re talking the difference between an unwashed shirt and one that’s been sitting at the bottom of a slurry tank. I know which I’d rather wear.

                                    1. SundogUK Silver badge

                                      Re: Muppet politics

                                      "I pointed out to you that the protests were entirely peaceful until the police and far right extremists weighed in." This is simply a lie. The rioters were smashing shop windows and looting right from the beginning.

                                    2. codejunky Silver badge

                                      Re: Muppet politics

                                      @45RPM

                                      "I pointed out to you that the protests were entirely peaceful until the police and far right extremists weighed in"

                                      Exactly. You were wrong. Which is why your claiming so against all fact is incredible.

                                      "Remember that Trump is so over sensitive that he even objects to taking a knee - let alone dissenters walking through the streets with banners."

                                      I remember you claiming some kind of objectivity then blaming Trump and in further comments effectively claiming Trump is Hitler. That is why my comments to you have gone from rebuttal to treating you like an idiot.

                                      "And no, I don’t think that pulling down statues counts as violence"

                                      Destruction of property is not violence? That is an interesting take but it will be interesting to see how far that extends as more property is damaged and destroyed and at some point you will need to figure out where that boundary is for yourself.

                                      "And I don’t think that pointing out that these statues were of reprehensible people counts as emotional either."

                                      Actually it is since you can debate how reprehensible these people were.

                                      "Neither, incidentally, is it emotional to point out to you that possession of a secret police force is the sort of thing that only dystopian states do"

                                      The same police force that has existed in the US for how long? And they wernt very secret being talked about to the press by the white house?

                                      "I know that it’s hard to have your world view challenged"

                                      Do you? So far you still seem to be stuck on orange man bad and violence is ok by the right people.

                                      "but it is important for the whole world to understand that yes, the orange man is bad"

                                      Definitely a topic that can be discussed. There are negatives as well as the positives, as with all presidents but especially with the current one who has less polish.

                                      "Not because he’s orange, but because of what he stands for"

                                      Ahh. So you have an opposing opinion to Trump. Thats ok, many do. Many also have positive opinions too. That is fine, normal and explains the bias (wasnt hard to see tbh). But when you claimed objectivity it seems you didnt account for your extreme bias.

                                      "Biden isn’t perfect"

                                      A few comments ago you said- "You seem to be more intent on presenting some kind of equivalence between Trump and his competitors" and I did wonder where it had come from. Of course you were projecting as I didnt mention anyone else. Look to your bias, recognise it. See where it is blinding you. Everyone has bias but you need to recognise where it is screwing with your perception.

                                      "I know which I’d rather wear."

                                      And back to however many comments back where objectively speaking they are all very flawed from Democrat to Republican.

                              2. This post has been deleted by its author

                            2. Someone Else Silver badge

                              @ 45RPM -- Re: Muppet politics

                              Demonstrators are calling for an end to systemic racism. Seems like a good thing to demonstrate about, don't you think?

                              Apparently for 'codejunky', the answer is 'no'...to both ("seems like a good thing to demonstrate about", and "don't you think")

                              Love the handle, BTW...

                              1. codejunky Silver badge
                                FAIL

                                Re: @ 45RPM -- Muppet politics

                                @Someone Else

                                "Apparently for 'codejunky', the answer is 'no'...to both ("seems like a good thing to demonstrate about", and "don't you think")"

                                I am such a bastard aint I! But wait! Didnt I answer this question earlier?-

                                "Demonstrators are calling for an end to systemic racism. Seems like a good thing to demonstrate about, don't you think?"

                                Yes

                                Looks like Someone Else cant read.

                    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        2. HildyJ Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Muppet politics - Stop it people

          Not every argument needs to descend to Trump vs. Biden or UK vs. EU.

          The article was about Microsoft's deep fake detection technology.

          1. 45RPM

            Re: Muppet politics - Stop it people

            It's sadly relevant though - look at the article title again Help. The political process is corrupted, full of lies and state-sponsored deep fakes. Now Microsoft's to the rescue

            And the biggest political stories in the western world where, I'd guess, most El Reg's readership is, are the corrupt US government, the disintegration of the EU - and, I suppose, the architect of this mess, Vlad the Destroyer.

            1. quxinot Silver badge

              Re: Muppet politics - Stop it people

              Give thanks for what you have! Brexit wasn't mentioned once!

              Until I... shit. Nevermind.

            2. SundogUK Silver badge

              Re: Muppet politics - Stop it people

              The political process is not corrupted. You just keep losing.

  6. Khaptain Silver badge

    "If you want to increase division in the world, foment racism, homophobia, sexism and violence, encourage nepotism,"

    Woke ALERT....... a tortured and brain washed mind is a spouting it's bile..

    For info : The overwhelming majority of people are not racist, homophobic, sexist or violent nor do they encourage nepotism. If you believe that they are then the problem lies with you.. Leave your keyboard for a couple of days and actually go talk with real people, not avatars or Twitterati and you will realise that the majority of people are actually good people...

    1. 45RPM

      "The overwhelming majority of people are not…"

      Who said that they were? The majority of people are decent, and fair, and want to do what they genuinely believe to be best. A minority, however, do believe that some people are inherently superior to others - and that is where the problem lies.

      Sadly, that minority, lacking in any moral fibre, are prepared to lie and cheat and do whatever it takes to grab hold of and retain power. This gives them an advantage over decent people - witness the fact that Trump lost the popular vote by a factor of 2.8 million, but through his dishonest machinations still managed to reached the highest office in the world - which will further amplify his power to repeat the trick.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        "Sadly, that minority, lacking in any moral fibre, are prepared to lie and cheat and do whatever it takes to grab hold of and retain power. This gives them an advantage over decent people - witness the fact that Trump lost the popular vote by a factor of 2.8 million, but through his dishonest machinations still managed to reached the highest office in the world - which will further amplify his power to repeat the trick."

        So you believe that a socialist/Marxist system would improve things how ? If I have to choose between the lesser of 2 evils then Trump wins.... I really don't like Donald Trump but compared to what the world has seen within the Socialist regimes he is a far better choice than the Bidens or the Maduros.

        Biden, as most people have now seen, is a puppet who strings are tweaked by the likes of Jeff Bezos, George Soros and Ted Turner. The BLM/Antifa movements think that they will own Biden, wrong, for they themselves are merely puppets for the aforementioned big players.

        1. 45RPM

          Biden, as most people have now seen, is a puppet who strings are tweaked by the likes of Jeff Bezos, George Soros and Ted Turner. You know that this is a QAnon conspiracy theory don't you? Belief in this nonsense is an indicator of seriously deficient critical faculties.

          The BLM/Antifa movements BLM is a good thing. Black Lives do Matter. And for the record, its not saying that Black Lives Matter more than white lives - it's protesting to redress the balance that, sadly, they currently seem to matter less. BLM seeks equality - so don't come back with that All Lives Matter rubbish. White lives are not in any danger.

          And Antifa is not a thing, not as an organised group anyway, outside the twisted conspiracy theories of Trump and QAnon. Unless you object to the concept that Facism is bad thing?

          So you believe that a socialist/Marxist system would improve things how Wow. Seriously. That's not even the choice. Firstly because Biden is neither of those things, and secondly, because socialism and marxism are not equivalent.

          Socialism is the sharing of wealth in society - the idea that if you work for a company then your labour should not be concentrated unfairly at the top so that you can't access a good level of healthcare, education, security etc. I don't think anyone argues that the founder of a company shouldn't earn more than its workers, but equally it shouldn't take unfair advantage of its workers.

          Communism is the idea that wealth is held in common - that the state has the wealth, not the individuals. It is the practical realisation of Marxism (which, in fairness, is based around the unworkable idea that the state would act equitably - and, as we've seen, it doesn't).

        2. DS999

          Biden, as most people have now seen, is a puppet who strings are tweaked by the likes of

          Trump has his puppet strings pulled by Putin and Fox News hosts. If it is a contest between the people pulling the strings I'll take Biden. At least he's not a mafia don wanna be common criminal like Trump.

        3. Someone Else Silver badge

          @Khaptain

          So you believe that a socialist/Marxist system would improve things how ?

          Leave the false equivalency out of this discussion, my Khaptain. It cheapens everything it touches.

  7. Someone Else Silver badge

    But don’t throw up your arms in despair at the corruption of the political process and the willingness of mainstream politicians to amplify lies and misinformation because here comes an information superhero, a fearless warrior, a technological defender of the truth! Yes, Microsoft has come out fighting for democracy! All is saved! We're all gonna die!

    There, FTFY.

  8. BlueCat49

    The Fox (Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, et al) is coming to "rescue" the Chickens.

    I'll pass.

  9. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

    Background Electrical Hum and digital signing of pictures

    I understand that everywhere on Earth there is a 'Background Electrical Hum'. The BEH is unique to the location and the time and is present on any recording. Deep fake videos can be detected by isolating the BEH from the recording and checking it for continuity. Basically as the BEH is an analogue signal, any breaks in it indicate some editing process has happened, and where in the recording it happened. This should be detectable in high quality videos, but I don't know how easily, or how much processing is required.

    I also remember years ago when professional quality digital cameras arrived, Canon at least (and probably Nikon too) provided add on devices to digitally sign each frame to prove authenticity. This faltered as almost every photograph used by 'the press' (even, I suspect those on the venerable and highly esteemed Register) are edited in some way, if only by cropping.

  10. nextenso

    Msoft bashing

    What has happened to impartial accurate news reporting. Its back to Msoft bashing. I thought (I had hoped) Register was better than this even though you have a deep seated intense dislike of Msoft, along with many of your readers. A bit of humour you are renown for is great. What is written is not.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Msoft bashing

      My downvote there, nextenso, for I consider your negative views completely inappropriate and fundamentally wrong.

  11. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Fascism is alive and well? Goebbels* would be pleased. Cui Bono is a Great Question to Ask

    Hmmmm? So what do you think? Is that Microsoft masquerading as the engine and driver or trailing as a caboose on a Registered Train Wreck journey?

    * .... Read'em and weep and tell yourself it aint a present happening, thus to almost guarantee its existence ..... https://www.inspiringquotes.us/author/9320-joseph-goebbels/about-propaganda

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