WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Elections Commission is imploring all American voters to “keep a sharp eye out” for deepfake videos that attempt to influence them with just a few weeks left before the election. In particular, the FEC is warning that they’ve received several reports of new deepfake videos that attempt to show President Donald Trump as a sane, rational, or intelligent human being.
“As technology progresses and develops and enhances,” FEC Vice Executive Media Director Charles Whitson told reporters today, “it’s vital that Americans learn to detect deepfake videos that are made to influence them with false information. Beyond detection, every voter must also learn how to investigate whether a video they’ve just watched is real or not.”
According to Mr. Whitson, while it can be difficult with some videos to tell what’s true and what’s fiction, with the president some deepfakes can be “easily discounted.”
“At this point, four years into his presidency, we know the kind of person Donald Trump is. We know the things he says and how he says them,” Whitson explained. “So if you all of a sudden find yourself watching a video clip of him that seems extremely outside of those known boundaries of his behavior and vocabulary, you should have red flags raised and alarm bells ringing in your ears.”
Dozens of intelligence agencies around the world concluded that in 2016, Russia conducted a campaign to interfere in the presidential election on Trump’s behalf. Whitson warns that the Kremlin would “very likely be behind” attempts to use deepfake videos to sway voters this time around. However, Whitson says that because the president is who he is, Russian agents “really have their work cut out for them.”
“Let’s say you’re watching a video that’s supposed to be of Donald Trump speaking. Why would you seek out that kind of horrific content when the Internet is full of cat videos is beyond me,” Whitson said, “but let’s say you find yourself in a place where you just literally cannot avoid watching a clip of Trump speak. The minute he says something that even makes him sound remotely competent or intelligent, you should discount the video you’re watching.”
Each American, Whitson argues, “has a duty and responsibility to be an informed voter.” It can be difficult, he admitted, to know sometimes when information that’s being presented is right and accurate. However, with Trump, Whitson says that Americans have something to be thankful for, believe it or not.
“While it’s true that in the future we’ll have to really be vigilant for when a much smarter and competent president tries to use deepfake technology for truly nefarious purposes,” Whitson said. “But for now, we can all rest easy knowing that President Trump is incredibly stupid and incompetent that any video that even attempts to make him look slightly less so will be immediately labeled false, as it should be.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.