5 deepfake techniques used in election campaigns

5 deepfake techniques used in election campaigns

The experts from the Romanian Cyber Security Directorate (DNSC) have developed a guide and an online test to detect deepfakes, a phenomenon they claim has brought significant changes to the landscape of online fraud.

The DNSC provides a Deepfake Guide and an informative TEST that can help recognize online traps.

The Deepfake Guide starts with defining the concept as "a digital manipulation of a video recording, audio, or image, made with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) or other specialized programs."

"Understanding Deepfakes is crucial, with significant implications for society, politics, cyber security, and the manipulation of public trust," the experts conveyed.


They also detail the technology behind Deepfakes and the creation process.

A separate chapter in the Guide refers to the danger of Deepfakes in the electoral context.

"In the current digital era, where the boundary between reality and fiction is constantly blurred, the electoral process goes beyond the mere confrontation of ideologies and political promises, turning into a complex ideological battleground. Deepfake technologies, capable of realistically synthesizing images and voices, can significantly influence the opinion and vote of voters during election campaigns, having a major impact on the democratic process," stated the DNSC specialists.


They detail the effects of Deepfakes on politicians as well.

"A politician's reputation can be seriously affected by fabricated Deepfake videos, which can discredit their image and damage their chances of winning elections. Spreading misinformation through Deepfakes can manipulate public perception of the politician's character and program, negatively affecting their political career," the document states.

Additionally, there is a significant impact on political parties.

"Deepfakes can be used as a strategic tool to discredit rival parties by creating false materials that portray them in a negative light. Promoting one's party agenda through Deepfakes can be an effective way to influence public opinion and attract voters. Improper use of Deepfakes by political parties can lead to scandals and loss of public trust in the political system," the Guide further explains.


Furthermore, the specialists warn, "Deepfakes can be used by interest groups within a country to manipulate public opinion on civic issues."

"Creating falsified content adapted to local contexts can intensify or mitigate grievances related to specific issues or events. The use of Deepfakes by interest groups can lead to the polarization of society and erosion of democratic public discourse," DNSC further conveyed.

The specialists detail the AI/Deepfake techniques used in influencing electoral campaigns:

  1. Realistic video falsification: Advanced AI algorithms create videos almost indistinguishable from real ones, presenting false scenes with politicians or invented events.
  2. Voice cloning and audio forgeries: A politician's voice is reproduced with astonishing precision, generating false messages falsely attributed to the respective person.
  3. Synthetic text: Credible texts are created by imitating the style and tone of a political personality or an institution, spreading misinformation.
  4. Face swapping and transformation: The technology allows for changing faces in videos, creating false scenarios that never happened or not in the presented context.
  5. Behavioral prediction: AI analyzes online behavior to predict responses to certain messages, facilitating the creation of targeted Deepfakes to influence specific voter segments.

"These techniques can be used by malicious actors to discredit candidates, manipulate public opinion, and undermine confidence in the electoral process. It is essential to raise awareness of the dangers of Deepfakes and implement measures to combat misinformation and protect the integrity of elections," DSNC further emphasized.

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