Slowing down footage

A recording of Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s onstage comments at the Center for American Progress in 2019 were slowed down, making it sound like she was slurring her words.

The video was posted on Facebook and received 2.2 million “likes” within 48 hours. Many commented that Pelosi looked drunk.

Media scholars Joan Donovan and Britt Paris called the manipulation a “cheapfake,” as it relied on “free software that allows manipulation through easy conventional editing techniques like speeding, slowing, and cutting, as well as nontechnical manipulations like restaging or recontextualizing existing footage…”

References Joan Donovan and Britt Paris, “Beware the Cheapfakes,” Slate, June 12, 2019. Joan Donovan and Britt Paris, Deepfakes and Cheap Fakes: The Manipulation of Audio and Visual Evidence, Data & Society, September 18, 2019. Background theme image from Shutterstock.

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