A little less than a year ago, the word “deepfake” was added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The term surged to popularity as deepfake videos and technology were reportedly threatening to manipulate elections. If you aren’t familiar with deepfakes, the dictionary defines a deepfake as “an image or recording that has been convincingly altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said.”
Thanks to a host of new and developing technologies that can replace faces, manipulate expressions, and generally morph anyone into anything, deepfakes are no longer created only at the hands of computer and technology wizards, but even our kids are getting into the game. Be aware, because this will be happening more and more.
Of course, our main concern is that these technologies will be misused in ways that promote lying, deception, and what the Bible calls “bearing false witness”. . . a sinful act that God detests along with all other sin.
As we’ve thought about the youth culture concerns related to deep fakes, two come immediately to mind. First, deepfakers can lift anyone’s photo off social media. . . photos of adults, teens, and even the smallest of children. . . and turn them into pornography. Second, deepfakes can be used to bully, threaten, and even blackmail innocent parties.
Today, this we ran this piece on deepfakes on our 1-minute daily Youth Culture Today podcast. . .
As you consider where this might all lead, read the words of Proverbs 6:16-19 : “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”
Parents, this should give us pause regarding our incessant posting of our children’s photos online. We also need to be warning our kids to be careful about what they post, while also warning them about becoming deepfake perpetrators. This also reminds us that those who now recommend a no-smartphone policy for kids until they are 16 are actually offering sound advice.
And just in case you missed it, a story broke at the beginning of the week which offers a peek into the devious ways even parents are now using deepfakes. . .