In the recent news, Facebook removed an altered video via deep learning, falsely depicting Ukrainian President Zelensky instructing soldiers to surrender. The deepfake video is the latest troubling milestone in the parallel information war accompanying Russia’s cruel invasion of neighboring Ukraine, but it was a moment that Ukraine’s government and social media organizations seem to have been prepared for.
Facebook Removed the Deepfake Video for Violating its Rules
Meta Head of Security Policy Nathaniel Gleicher clarified that the company removed the content for violating its rules against “manipulated media,” a form of multimedia misinformation that often embodies as video edited to portray a public figure saying something that they never actually said. The deceptive deepfake video was intercepted by Meta fairly quickly but is apparently circulating widely on Facebook’s Russian counterpart VKontakte, according to the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.
2/ We've quickly reviewed and removed this video for violating our policy against misleading manipulated media, and notified our peers at other platforms.
— Nathaniel Gleicher (@ngleicher) March 16, 2022
Furthermore, DFRLab also observed that a pro-Russia Telegram channel published a deepfake video depicting Ukrainian President Zelenskyy calling on the country to surrender. National TV network Ukraine 24 also reported that its news ticker was hacked on Wednesday to similar fates. The ticker displayed a message purportedly from Ukrainian President Zelenskyy calling on the people of Ukraine to end their resistance against Russian invading forces. Ukraine’s president was quick to counteract the disinformation with his own messaging on Telegram.
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy Making a Surrender Statement on TV is Fake
In early March, Ukraine’s Centre for Strategic Communications warned that Russia might deploy altered videos to slant public perception of its invasion. The center, part of the Ukrainian government’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, focuses on “[countering] external threats, in particular information attacks of the Russian Federation. Imagine seeing Vladimir Zelensky on TV making a surrender statement,” the center wrote on its Facebook page on March 2. “You see it, you hear it – so it’s true. But this is not the truth… Be aware – this is a fake!”
Source: The Verge