Facebook deletes a deepfake where the president of Ukraine announced his surrender

Meta (Facebook) has detected and eliminated a fake video showing Volodímir Zelenski, president of Ukraine, officially telling his troops to surrender to the Russian invasion. A fact that has been confirmed by Nathaniel Gleicher, head of the company's security policy through his twitter profile. The clip, showing the Ukrainian president behind a lectern, is actually a deepfake. It is a technique that generates an artificial face very similar to that of a real person.

Zelensky's deepfake, originating from a “supposedly compromised” news website, as indicated Gleicher, began to go viral on the internet and appear on Facebook. Meta, detecting that the content was not real, immediately deleted it. “We have quickly reviewed and removed this video for violating our policy against misleading and manipulated media, and we have notified our colleagues on other platforms,” ​​highlights the company's chief security policy officer.

The clip, however, has been distributed on Russian television channels, as well as online portals. According to an investigation by the Atlantic Council, this was shown on a Ukrainian news program that was hacked, and also has been actively shared through VKontakte, a Russian social network very similar to Facebook . In some Russian channels, in addition, they suggest that the video is real, but that Zelensky finally regretted his speech and backtracked, making the excuse that it was a falsified recording. The President of Ukraine himself has confirmed via Telegram that the clip is not real.

In fact, and if we look at the video, it is really easy to see that it is a deepfake. The movements are strange and the head is not in correct proportion to the rest of the president's body. The effect of the voice, in addition, is robotic.

Ukraine has already warned that Russia could use deepfakes as a weapon

Credit: Katie Godowski

Precisely, the Government of Ukraine has already warned at the beginning of March that Russia could use this type of tools to spread false information.

“You could see Volodymyr Zelensky on TV making a statement about surrender. It will not be a real video, but created using machine learning algorithms. Videos made using these technologies, nor can even be distinguished from the real videos.Please note that it is a fake.Its purpose it's disorienting, creating panic, making people angry, and tricking our troops into surrendering. Rest assured that Ukraine will not surrender,” assured the country's government on its official Facebook account.

Meta, on the other hand, has a program that not only allows detecting if a video is fake, but also know where said deepfake originated. The company announced this method in June 2021, together with Michigan State University. It confirmed that it would be rolled out later, for what is not clear if the deleted content has been located using this tool.