Deepfakes, virtual beer, the TikTok war and the Mono Universe

Metaguide #14 – What is truth and who can you trust?

Last week a video appeared on the Ukrainian news site TV24 in which President Volodymyr Zelensky called on his troops to lay down their arms. Shortly after posting, the video was removed. The website was hacked and it turned out to be a fake video. He prompted Zelensky to testify online that the video was fake. The deepfake heralds the next phase of the information war between Ukraine and Russia.

Obviously a cheap fake

The video in question is clearly fake. You don’t have to be a deepfake specialist or disinformation expert for this. Zelensky’s head is too big for his body, his voice is many times deeper than the original, the lighting is not right and his face is not high quality but crisp, the pixels are clearly visible. By today’s standards, he is an amateur deepfake; a supposed cheap fake.

For the past two years, Sander Duivestein has been hiding in the world of deepfakes, fake news, conspiracy theories, influencers, virtual personas, Gen Z, memes, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, Web 3.0, virtual reality and the metaverse. This resulted in the book really fake outlining how the fake and the real are intertwined and how the fake might be worth more than the real. At De Metagids, he refers weekly to Marketingfacts about the impact of the Metaverse on our economy and society.

What is truth and who can you trust?

Although the video was quickly removed from the hacked news site, the footage was also shared on various social networks. Spokespeople for Meta, Twitter and YouTube said the video was removed here as well for violating policy. On the Russian VKontakte, on the other hand, the misleading video got a big boost. At the same time, a fake video of Putin also appeared online, announcing that he had defeated Ukraine and would now start rebuilding the country. This constantly begs the question: what is truth and who can you still trust?

Disinformation techniques since 1984

This all goes back to 1984 when Yuri Bezmenov, a defecting KGB agent, described the former Soviet Union’s disinformation techniques in a television interview: “The KGB’s center of gravity is not intelligence at all. In my opinion and the opinion of many defectors of my caliber, only about 15 percent of the time, money and manpower are spent on espionage as such,” Bezmenov said. “The other 85 percent is a slow process, which we call ideological subversion or active measures or psychological warfare. The purpose of this process is to alter the perception of reality for every American in such a way that, despite the abundance of information, no one can reach a sensible conclusion in the interests of defending themselves, their families, their communities. . , and his country.”

Compromised truth credibility

Experts have long warned about the dangers of deepfakes. Deepfakes are an offensive weapon in information warfare that Bezmenov was referring to. It is not the deepfakes themselves that we need to fear, but the way they pollute the information ecosystem and thus create a different reality. The great danger is not so much that the lie is elevated to the truth, but that the credibility of the truth is tarnished.

This phenomenon is better known as the liar’s dividend† This plays right into the hands of the liar: autocratic leaders can now dismiss anything as a lie, conspiracy theory, fake news, or deepfake. This creates a apathy for reality† When people are constantly inundated with misinformation, preventing them from distinguishing between what is real and what is false, they withdraw. They become indifferent to reality, permanently hiding in their own filter bubble, in their own myth trap, in which social media algorithms constantly reinforce their own right. There is no longer a shared truth and reality. The foundations of democracy are under a lot of pressure.

A future full of deepfakes

In a war, the truth is always the first casualty. The Zelensky and Putin deepfakes once again show how easy it is to manipulate and distribute video footage today. You don’t have to be a genius to make these deepfakes and use them as an offensive weapon. We will see many more of these deepfakes in the near future. It is important to detect and disprove them as soon as possible, just as Zelensky did with his own cheap forgery, otherwise we create a world where the truth no longer matters, with all the consequences that this entails.

The media that colored the metaverse even more this week are the following:

1. Accenture – Find me in the metaverse

Meet Me In The Metaverse: Accenture has revealed its technology vision for 2022 and it’s about one thing: the metaverse. This too, like Amy Web’s Technology Trends 2022 from last week, is a bulky tome. But one that must be read to understand the potential of the metaverse for businesses.

2. Introducing Heineken Silver

Introducing Heineken Silver. No calories, no hidden ingredients, no beer, and no headaches. Who doesn’t get thirsty from this? It’s an inside joke from the well-known beer brand, to poke fun at the metaverse. I wonder if everyone gets the joke. I think a lot of people take virtual beer very seriously.

3. TikTok is a scenic information war

TikTok Sets the Scene for Information Warfare: Preview of next month’s KIJK focusing on TikTok’s role in information warfare. “Whatever happens, the genie is out of the bottle. Even if the war stories on TikTok, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook are not always true and will not simply determine the outcome of the war, they at least leave an image-enhancing impression. of conflict in ways that seemed almost impossible a decade ago.”

4. Universe of bored monkeys

Bored Ape Universe – Two weeks ago, Yuga Labs, the company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, announced that it had acquired CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs. And last Thursday they introduced ApeCoin ($APE). A coin that was in high demand among the NFT community. It is the beginning of a Monkey Universe. The value of this could rise to unprecedented levels, especially now that there are rumors that Disney is interested in buying a large NFT-related project. Jarno Duursma also devoted a lot of attention to it in his newsletter.

Also interesting is the leaked Yuga Labs Pitch Deck, revealing that they are the internet culture (and the metaverse) of the future. also read this Twitter thread about his intentions. In Metagids #4 I already indicated that internet culture is bigger than pop culture. It implies that the Bored Apes, the Cryptopunks and the Meebits pop stars be from the future

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