A new generation of highly persuasive deepfakes designed to manipulate and confuse the public is worming its way through the internet. We may think we are invulnerable, but the sophistication of this new breed is likely to catch out even the savviest of us — in fact, it has probably already done so.

Today’s deepfakes are more than just Twitter accounts controlled by robots or manipulated videos of real people in the public eye. They are being designed to pass as unremarkable ordinary people, or journalists. Take the case of Oliver Taylor, a coffee-loving politics junkie who writes freelance editorials for the Jerusalem Post and the Times of Israel. Or so the world thought until a Reuters article in July noted that, despite his ample online footprint and convincing profile picture, “Taylor” does not exist.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now