Deepfake John Swinney addresses Scotland's parliament

Occurred: May 2024

A video purportedly showing Scotland's new First Minister lambasting his party's former leader and its policies in parliament went viral on social media. 

The video showed John Swinney, the new Scottish First Minister in what appeared to be a live Sky News broadcast, thanking Nicola Sturgeon for 'ensuring' his re-election and blasting his party's policies. It was seen over 300,000 times online, having been shared by right-wing social media accounts.

However, Swinney's voice had been manipulated using AI in the video. He had been officially installed as Scottish First Minister after Humza Yousaf resigned, and was elected to the post in a vote at Scotland's parliament.

The incident showed the ease with which deepfake videos can be generated and distributed, and raised concerns about the potential impact of misinformation and disinformation on politics as a whole, as well as the individuals and entities being targeted.

System 🤖

Country: UK - Scotland
Sector: Politics
Purpose: Damage reputation
Technology: Deepfake - audio, video
Issue: Mis/disinformation
Transparency: Governnace; Marketing