Eric Bolling

Former Trump DHS official explains how ‘deepfake’ videos pose a very real threat to American elections

'You could ruin a whole election'

Image source: Blaze TV screenshot

There's a been a lot of discussion of fraudulent "deepfake" videos on the internet over the last few weeks. One Trump official says the intricate hoaxes are more than just fodder for fake news; they can be a problem for our national security.

On a recent episode of BlazeTV's "America with Eric Bolling," former DHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Lauren Claffey explained that the technology allowing for the creation of completely fake videos of public figures "is advancing so quickly that I think lawmakers and private citizens are very concerned that we don't have the capabilities and also just the awareness to combat it appropriately."

Deepfakes are a growing trend in internet content wherein software is used to create incredibly lifelike video of people saying just about anything. One recently popular video shows actor Bill Hader's face slowly morphing into Arnold Schwarzenegger's. Another shows "Game of Thrones" character Jon Snow apologizing for the show's widely panned final season.

But these videos aren't just entertaining. Claffey also explained, "The altered videos are so real now that it can be used for blackmail, it can be used to spread misinformation, [policy makers are] very concerned with foreign actors using it."

Claffey and Bolling discussed the effects that elaborate hoax videos could have, especially on misinformation during the course of United States elections.

"Can you imagine what you could do with a politician who's maybe on the cusp of becoming a nominee?" Bolling asked. "You could ruin a whole election."

While there is some technology available to detect fraudulent video, the "only real" solution to this problem for now, Claffey explained, is "better awareness," even when it comes to legislation addressing the issue. Bottom line: People need to be more discerning of the information they come across on social media.

It would seem that the rise of these "deepfakes" lends a little credence to the hyperbolic line attributed to Edgar Alan Poe: "Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see."

The full segment can be found below, and the full episode is available on BlazeTV:

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