Deepfake recordings depict British Opposition Leader abusing staff

Occurred: October 2023

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A deepfake audio recording appearing to depict the leader of the UK Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, swearing at a party staffer raised concerns about the underhand use of synthetic disinformation in politics.

The audio clip was posted on X, formerly Twitter, during the first day of the Labour Party Conference and was quickly identified as a hoax by MPs from across the political spectrum. 

Though X's policies explicitly state that users 'may not share synthetic, manipulated, or out-of-context media,' it did not prevent the clip being widely circulated. However, most copies have since been removed.

The incident intensified apprehensions about the risk of synthetic media in politics, and came hot on the heels of another incident involving a deepfake audio during the Slovakian election targeting their Opposition Leader.


Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Politics
Purpose: Damage reputation
Technology: Deepfake - audio, video; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Mis/disinformation
Transparency: Governance; Marketing


Page info
Type: Incident
Published: October 2023