Deepfake Queen Elizabeth to deliver Christmas warning on fake news
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Queen Elizabeth II’s annual Christmas message to the UK will be followed by alternative remarks from a digitally created deepfake monarch meant to warn about the dangers of fake news.
After the real queen has delivered her address on the BBC and ITV, the deepfake will air on Channel 4 in a five-minute segment hitting on hot-button issues such as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s flight from the UK, and Prince Andrew’s boot from royal duties over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, according to the BBC.
“One thing that has sustained many of us is our families, which is why I was so saddened by the departure of Harry and Meghan,” said the digital dopplegänger in a snippet posted by the BBC. “There are few things more hurtful than someone telling you they prefer the company of Canadians.”
The lookalike queen will also reportedly try her hand at a TikTok dance challenge.
Despite the silliness, the stunt is meant as a warning about the dangers of fake news, particularly as delivered through digitally-manipulated media.
“If there is a theme to my message today, it is trust,” said the fake queen in the clip. “Trust in what is genuine and what is not.”
But while the deepfake queen looks the part, a BBC journalist who covers the royal family said the voice — provided by an actress — left something to be desired.
“There have been countless imitations of the queen. This isn’t a particularly good one,” Nicholas Witchell told the outlet. “The voice sounds what it is — a rather poor attempt to impersonate her.”
Buckingham Palace did not respond to a request for comment from the BBC on the digital impostor’s broadcast.
Earlier this year, Facebook banned deepfake videos to stem the spread of misinformation ahead of the US presidential election, while Microsoft launched a program designed to give a “confidence score” on whether or not a video has been digitally manipulated.
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