MTV Lebanon deepfakes to commemorate bomb victims solicits backlash 

Occurred: July 2021

A deepfake video purporting to 'commemorate' two victims of the 2020 Beirut port bombing that killed over 200 people and injured some 6,500 injured, has been blasted for being 'inappropriate', 'insensitive' and 'unethical'.

Featuring deepfakes of Ralph Mallahi and Amin Al-Zahed, both of whom lost their lives in the 2020 atrocity, the video was titled 'A Letter to the Lebanese Judiciary' and shared on social media by MTV Lebanon with the hashtag, 'It’s been a year, the time is up.' 

Mouin Jaber, co-host of the popular Lebanese podcast “Sarde After Dinner,” told Arab News: 'It’s dystopian. It’s emotional manipulation and blackmail taken to a whole other uncanny level.'

Operator: MTV Lebanon
Developer: MTV Lebanon

Country: Lebanon

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Commemorate bomb victims

Technology: Deepfake - video, audio; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Appropriateness/need; Ethics