Video in the Digital Age: Deepfakes and Ethics in Media

Home » Video in the Digital Age: Deepfakes and Ethics in Media

We are living in the digital age where videos often rule the internet. People these days would rather watch videos than reading long posts. Many would rather watch movies than read a whole book. It is not just because of the time saved by watching videos. It is also due to the fact that videos are often more engaging and can easily convey messages.

This is why businesses are investing in video production in boosting brand awareness. They use videos to show their followers their company mission, vision, and offers. They make use of such media to entertain target audiences and boost engagements.

But then, there is a growing unease due to the increasing number of deepfakes circulating around the internet. Some use this to convey a message that can be the total opposite of what a brand or individual wishes to convey. Others use this to humiliate, manipulate, and even destroy one’s career or reputation.

But What Are Deepfakes Anyway?

Deepfake videos are simply fake videos that look convincingly like the real thing. These use advanced technology to add anyone in videos that they may or may never actually engaged in. experts often use this in manipulating parts of a movie.

There have been reports of fake videos involving famous people. Others don’t even have a clue that some already used their likeness to created convincing videos. Since many people often don’t have an idea whether when a video is real or not, it can easily trick them into believing the fake news.

Just take famous celebrities, as an example. Many celebs have been a victim of the deepfake technology. These tarnished their reputation and made them live the consequences of someone else’s manipulative ploys.

How Do Deepfakes Work?

Humans would naturally seek evidence when searching for the truth. Since gossips and hearsay are very easy to spread, many won’t believe rumors until they find at least solid evidence. Since seeing is believing, many turn to the deepfake technology to make it seem like fake news is indeed real.

Experts use GANS or Generative Adversarial Networks to create a commotion online. They use two Machine Learning (ML) models to create fake videos. One train data set and will craft the deepfakes while the other detects the forgeries until a believable fake video is created.

A large amount of publicly available videos makes it easier for malicious experts to forge videos. Celebs, influencers, and even politicians are the usual victims of deepfakes. This is since they have such a great influence and they already have tons of video footage one can easily manipulate.

The problem with the deepfake technology is that there now exists deepfake apps one can download without any issue. A simple research will already lead to many results. When such apps get into the hands of the wrong individuals, the results can be terrifying.

Why Ethics in Media Is Valuable

woman using a smart phone

Many movies use the deepfake technology. This is exactly how Paul Walker was brought back to life in Furious 7. In the real world, even business giants make use of such technology to promote their brand and what they have to offer.

Nike, for instance, used a series of special effects to in creating an ad starring Kobe Bryant. He can be seen jumping over a speeding car. This is all for entertainment and marketing purposes and is not considered unethical.

But once a deepfake starts crossing the line, that is the time when the intentionally deceitful video becomes an unethical video. This can happen if the video can harm someone’s reputation, can ruin a brand, or influence people to believe wrong information that can lead to other more serious events.

This is the very reason why ethics is valuable in media. There is a need to publish and circulate news and videos that are nothing but the truth. We should always keep the standard of decency in mind or else, people can get hurt or be put in a tricky situation.

When it comes to any form of media, we are to observe different core values such as the following.

  • Respect for privacy
  • Honesty and fairness
  • Duty to avoid publishing offensive materials
  • Responsibility not to use dishonest means to get information
  • Duty not to anticipate the guilt of an accused individual

The problem is, everyone thinks anyone can be an amateur media content producer. Just because there is fake news circulating around, we should already jump aboard and join in spreading the wrong news. We should stay vigilant and do enough research to avoid being a victim of deepfakes.

Deepfakes are everywhere and are ruining many people’s lives. It is everyone’s duty as a consumer to avoid believing everything they see on the news and social media. We should seriously keep the code of media ethics in mind or forget about sharing without thinking and researching.

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