DeepTomCruise fake videos impersonate actor on TikTok

Occurred: February 2021

A TikTok account impersonating actor Tom Cruise spared concern about the hyer-real nature of deepfake technology and its potential use for misinformation, disinformation and other malicious purposes.

The Daily Beast reported 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.

Few clues indicated the fake nature of the clips; however, many viewers appeared unable to tell whether they were real or otherwise, and commentators focused on the increasing realism of deepfake technologies and their power to manipulate and deceive unsuspecting consumers.

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

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. 

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

Research, advocacy 🧮

Investigations, assessments, audits 🧐

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