DeepTomCruise TikTok deepfakes

Occurred: February 2021

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The Daily Beast reports on a TikTok account in the name of @deeptomcruise that is posting deepfake video clips of actor Tom Cruise golfing, telling jokes about former USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev, and doing magic tricks.

A few minor clues indicate the fake nature of the clips; however, many viewers appear unable to tell whether they are real or otherwise, and commentators focus on the increasing realism of deepfake technologies and their power to manipulate and deceive unsuspecting consumers.

Using the Cruise fake videos, a 2022 study by University of Oxford, Brown University and Royal Society researchers found that most people cannot tell they are watching a 'deepfake' video even if they have been told what they are watching may have been digitally altered. 

As of January 2022, the @deeptomcruise account counts 3.3 milion followers.

Operator: Bytedance/TikTok

Developer: Chris Ume; Miles Fisher

Country: USA

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Imitate Tom Cruise  
Technology: Deepfake - video; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning 

Issue: Ethics; Impersonation; Mis/disinformation
Transparency: Governance

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: February 2021
Last updated: January 2022