To address the rampant dissemination of fake news which has become a pressing issue, Jordan Peele and BuzzFeed collaborated on an all-important Barack Obama video.
The video shows the former president delivering an important message on the matter, however, something seems different. At first glance, nothing seems out of the ordinary, until Obama starts saying things many would be sure he would not say, all the more in a public service announcement.
"So, for instance, they could have me say things like, I don't know, [Black Panther's] Killmonger was right! Or Ben Carson is in the sunken place! Or, how 'bout this: Simply, President Trump is a total and complete dipsh*t," he then pointed out.
Clearly there was something wrong with this one. Obama then went on to say that he would never say those things, case in point, and then the video became a split screen showing Peele actually making the words to Obama's video.
"This is a dangerous time. Moving forward, we need to be more vigilant with what we trust from the internet," Peele as Obama said.
Peele underlined the importance of getting and believing in news from trusted and established news outlets. The PSA is actually a punch to the growing problem the society is facing nowadays, which had become alarming because of the misinformation and the number of those getting deceived by these.
Additionally, the video showed how easy it is to manipulate anything on the internet, including videos, like what they did, and how dangerous its outcome could be. Titled "You Won't Believe What Obama Says in This Video," the clip was created through Adobe After Effects and an app called FakeApp, a tool that can swap faces in videos. The team took an Obama footage and painstakingly had the actor's words jive with the former government official's clip.
Peele and his brother-in-law, Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed CEO, aim to inform the public of the effects brought about by the misinformation in the digital age. Apparently, the two were in talks over deepfake, citing an incidence where a man took his wife's face and put it in Anne Hathaway's body during an interview. Examples of deepfake are celebrity scandals wherein their faces are being attached to porn actors' bodies, making it appear like those are legit sex tapes.
The award-winning comedian wrote the script. Peretti admitted that BuzzFeed encountered the problem numerous times already, saying there are loads of websites that offer news that could pass off as legit, but because of its text, people have started to doubt these entities.
The PSA is so apt and timely, considering the left and right apps that could easily let people spread malicious and fake news. Furthermore, these apps have gotten better and better, with some being able to put words into prominent people's mouths. These apps have also become accessible in the market.