back to article Good: People can spot a deepfake video. Bad: They're not so hot with text

Netizens are more likely to be duped by misinformation presented in text form compared to video clips created with the help of algorithms, according to a study. Fake content generated by machine-learning models is becoming increasingly realistic. Images of people of across different ages, genders, and races look like real …

  1. DS999 Silver badge


    But how many years away are deepfake videos where even experts can't tell them apart from the real thing?

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Re: Perhaps

      Oh! NASA were doing those 50+ years ago!


      [grabs popcorn .... sits back]

    2. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Perhaps

      South Park have it nailed.

      Genuinely, if they had actually overdubbed it all with Trump, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

  2. Dr Paul Taylor

    why the politics?

    I'd be more convinced if the "soundbites" were on topics about which the experimental subjects didn't already have opinions.

    Cf BBC Radio 4's Unbelievable Truth panel game.

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    From the Department of the Bleeding Obvious

    Even if this seems obvious to you, at least someone's done the study. That's science.

    Really, thank you for telling us!

    The relationship of sound, text, video to plausability has long been studied. Video is often abused/recruited to support a particular point of view. There are infamous clips from Gaza but really the film "Wag the Dog" does a great job in showing how media can be manipulated for particular purposes. And then there is Orson Welles' legendary broadcast of War of the Worlds. Sometimes people won't believe their own eyes.

  4. Triggerfish

    POEs law

    Visually, there are always things like the uncanny valley to aid us.

    Text wise, there's enough crazy stuff posted by real people on the internet that we have a law named after it. Rogue AI texts may even seem sensible in comparison to Humans.

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Or more accurately...

    For "Netizens are more likely to be duped by misinformation presented in text form compared to video clips created with the help of algorithms"

    read "A small self selected sample of Americans appear to be more likely to be duped by misinformation about polarised politics when presented in text form than when presented in video clips created with the help of algorithms".

    Given the extraordinary (or quite possibly, increasingly ordinary) propensity of some people to believe the highly improbable in relation to politics regardless of how it's presented, this would not seem to be the best subject matter to elicit objective generalisable results in respect of differential capacity of alternative media types to convince.

    However I am particularly concerned that only 15% off of the self selected sample was vetted for "political preferences, trust in media and politics [... or] an individual’s tendency towards reflecting on questions before answering".

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Or more accurately...


      Experiments conducted since the early Bronze age show that people will happily believe any fake text written on a couple of tablets

  6. Blackjack Silver badge

    To be fair, the test included Trump on it, when what he says normally sounds like a fictional character who is a parody republican is very hard to find the difference between real Trump text and fakes. More so after he tried to play being a Great Dictator but failed.

    I could read a text of him praising Mexican food then one of him ranting against Mexicans and both could be true.

  7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge


    "To make sure the results weren't skewed by political orientation, about half of the group were Democrats, while the other half were Republicans."

    Are ALL Americans either Democrat or Republican? Voter turn-out rates seem to indicate that a significant portion are apolitical, simply don't care or independent.

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: Skewed?

      The voter turn-out rates seem to indicate that a huge number of Americans are well aware that voting is pointless for almost all of them.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Skewed?

      >Are ALL Americans either Democrat or Republican?

      Yes that's why they are all getting so upset about pronouns.

      In the good old days you could tell if a person was Democrat or Republican, without having to ask them.

      Now with the kids you have to ask them whether they chose to identify as Dem or Rep

  8. LybsterRoy Silver badge

    As soon as I encounter stuff like

    --"We find that communication modalities mediate discernment accuracy:--

    my brain automagically applies its bullshit filter.

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    People are less likely to be tricked into believing falsehoods if they have more information available to them...

    Unfortunately, modern technology serves the reverse rather better. People "follow" those they agree with and ignore everything else (except to slag them off). Algorithms "learn" what you like and tailor your news feed.

    TiVo ensured that you only saw what you wanted to watch and everyone else followed suit. This has pretty much killed off running across something mind-broadening while channel flicking. FFS we even have TV news which is either deliberately partial or so achingly focussed on being inoffensive to everyone that it isn't even news any more, just repackaged baby food.

    Presto, a world full of bigoted, ignorant fucktards with blinkers on, whose sole contribution to debate is to scream about how A N Other group is more bigoted and fucktardy than they are. This while scouring Tw@ter for anything they disagree with so they can accuse the writer of being a fascist/commie/woketard/arsehole etc.

    Solution? Turn off the internet...(!)

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