Deepfake videos a growing threat in upcoming U.S. presidential election, Schiff says

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- One of the latest threats to U.S. elections is so-called "deepfake" videos.

They are videos in which the audio and/or video has been manipulated by software to make the person appear to say or do something they aren't.

One example was a video of former President Barack Obama created by filmmaker Jordan Peele. It was made as a public-service announcement warning about the danger of deepfakes.

Congressman Adam Schiff attended a SAG-AFTRA panel this week where he discussed how foreign adversaries, like Russia, could dump deepfake videos online to influence the upcoming presidential election.

Experts say deepfakes are being produced at an alarming rate and are often difficult to identify.

"Even if you are later persuaded that the video you have watched is a forgery, you will never completely shed the lingering negative impression of the person," Schiff said.

"Your brain will tell you that I shouldn't hold it against Joe Biden or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren because that video I saw that went viral, I now know to be a fake. But I cannot shake the feeling that that person is - fill in the blank - so part of the damage is done once you see it or you hear it."

Sites such as Twitter and Reddit already ban deepfake videos.
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