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Deepfake doppelgangers could fatally undermine the influencer industry, say experts

June 2023 by Stevie Johnson, managing director of Disrup

Disrupt, has warned that deepfakes pose a major threat to content creators and the future of the entire influencer industry.

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The London-based agency is today calling on all agencies, brands, influencers, platforms and governments to urgently collaborate to implement comprehensive measures and laws which will preserve the integrity of the industry, before it’s too late.

Stevie Johnson, managing director of Disrupt, and former Made in Chelsea star, said: “While AI has its benefits, the deepfake threat opens up a whole world of deep trouble for influencers and content creators.

“Deepfakes pose a massive risk to our industry and to content creators themselves because the technology will undermine two crucial pillars - trust and authenticity.
“We need robust legislation & regulation from governments to control the use of this technology while agencies, brands, influencers, and platforms all need to collaborate to implement comprehensive measures that preserve the integrity of the industry.”
AI-generated manipulations of individual identities have already been used to violate privacy and infringe copyright & intellectual property.

Earlier this year, celebrity podcaster, Joe Rogan, found himself at the centre of a deepfake scam. In a fabricated 28-second video clip of the popular JRE podcast, which largely has a younger male audience, Rogan and guest, Andrew D. Huberman, appeared to actively promote a male libido booster.

Johnson warns: “While deepfake technologies can offer possibilities for brands to collaborate with celebrities & content creators without having to consume excessive amounts of their time, it is crucial not to overlook the potential harm they can inflict on a brand’s reputation.
“The time has come for platforms to invest in tools that can help detect deepfakes and verify the authenticity of content.
“Digital manipulations also have the potential to wreak havoc on the personal life of someone in the spotlight, tarnishing their following and reputation and potentially subjecting them to legal battles.”
Disrupt, which creates cut-through social and influencer campaigns for brands, points out that such incidents are already occurring.
Recently, popular Twitch streamers fell victim to having their identities used in deepfake pornography after one streamer was caught watching their fellow creators during a live stream.
The agency says that while laws have already been introduced in the US and China to make deepfakes illegal, other countries need to follow suit quickly.

Johnson concludes: “As we embrace the technological advancements of AI, we must keep our commitment to maintaining authenticity and trust with consumers that keep the industry thriving.”

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