Deepfake Philippines President urges military action against China 

Occurred: April 2024

An audio/video clip of Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr apparently ordering a military attack against China caused alarm and resulted in the Philippines government cracking down on deepfakes.

The deepfake clip, which was taken down, appeared to order the “armed forces and special task groups” to act however they deem appropriate should China “attack” the Philippines. Photographs of Chinese activities in the West Philippine Sea – including publicly released images from the Philippine Coast Guard – flashed in the video as a slideshow as the audio played.

The clip was taken down on the orders of Philippines authorities. The country's Presidential Communications Office disavowed it and said it was considering legal action against the cuplrits. The government subsequently announced it was working on measures to combat fake news, misinformation and disinformation. 

The incident raised concerns about the potential for confusion and panic, strained diplomatic relations and loss of trust in the media and government via deepfake misinformation and disinformation. It came at a time when tensions between the Philippines and China have been rising in the South China Sea.

System 🤖

Country: Philippines
Sector: Politics; Govt - defence
Purpose: Damage reputation
Technology: Deepfake - audio
Issue: Mis/disinformation
Transparency: Governance; Marketing