Deepfake audio recording claims opposition tried to rig Slovakia election

Occurred: September 2023

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A deepfake audio recording appearing to depict a pro-European politician and journalist discussing methods to rig Slovakia’s 2023 election.

The audio recording featured Michal Šimečka, leader of the liberal Progressive Slovakia party, and Denník N journalist Monika Tódová apparently discussing how to manipulate the election. Posted during a 48-hour pre-election moratorium, it was quickly discovered to be a synthetic hoax by AFP and other fact-checking organisations. 

The incident raised concerns about the use of underhand methods in Slovakia’s elections, the use of deepfakes in politics, and the ease with which Meta's policies can be bypassed. Because the post was audio, it exploited a loophole in Meta’s manipulated-media policy, which dictates only falsified videos go against its rules.

Progressive Slovakia received 18% of the vote making it the second largest party in the country’s parliament behind SMER, which had campaigned to withdraw military support for its neighbour, Ukraine. It is unclear to what extent the deepfake influenced the result.


Country: Slovakia
Sector: Politics
Purpose: Manipulate public opinion
Technology: Deepfake - audio; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Governance, Mis/disinformation
Transparency: Governance


Page info
Type: Incident
Published: October 2023