With their proliferation and ease of manufacture, deepfakes are an increasing threat. They can:

  • Shame, discredit, exploit, or demean individuals
  • Challenge the credibility of journalists and reputable media outlets
  • Undermine security protections or public health initiatives
  • Undercut the support for, or the implementation of, government policies
  • Heighten social divisions
  • Create a false sense of public opinion
  • Offer a way for public figures to avoid responsibility. As more and more deepfakes and other forms of misinformation are in circulation, politicians can capitalize on this climate of disbelief, claiming that their statements and actions are simply false. Communication and legal scholars Robert Chesney and Danielle Citron call this phenomenon the “Liar’s Dividend.

Reference Danielle K. Citron & Robert Chesney, Deep Fakes: A Looming Challenge for Privacy, Democracy, and National Security, 107 California Law Review 1753 (2019), 1771-86. Background theme image from Shutterstock.

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