Fake Elon Musk Videos Exploit Canadians with Manipulated Content.
June 30, 2023: In a concerning development, manipulated videos featuring Elon Musk are being circulated on Facebook, deceiving Canadians with false promises of a lucrative investment opportunity. These videos, which have garnered substantial views and engagement, promote an artificial intelligence (AI) trading app allegedly launched by Musk. However, closer examination reveals that the footage has been manipulated, and the original videos do not mention such apps.
One specific video, posted on June 19, 2023, has surpassed 62,000 views and features Gayle King from “CBS Mornings,” seemingly endorsing the investment app, claiming that residents can earn $5,700 per day regardless of occupation. The clip then transitions to Elon Musk, the well-known entrepreneur behind SpaceX and Tesla, who appears to endorse the app by stating that it achieves an impressive 91 percent success rate in stock trading.
These misleading videos are not limited to Musk alone. Several videos have been shared, featuring public figures such as David Cochrane from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) show “Power & Politics” and former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The manipulated footage includes segments where Musk discusses the origins of the AI stock-trading app and its potential benefits for Canadians.
Various indicators expose the fraudulent nature of these videos. Reverse image searches confirm the manipulation, as the original videos lack any mention of AI investment apps. Additionally, the respective news organizations debunked the authenticity of the videos featuring Gayle King, David Cochrane, and Tucker Carlson. CBS News verified that the clip of Gayle King was not authentic, and a CBC spokeswoman confirmed that the footage of David Cochrane was fabricated. The Tucker Carlson video cleverly blends genuine movements and clothing from a September 2022 segment with a generic “Daily News” graphic, further confirming its manipulated nature.
Several other red flags emerge when examining the Facebook pages hosting these videos. Many pages have removed the clips, while those that remain often hide user comments, preventing individuals from warning others about the manipulated content. Furthermore, some pages show their most recent posts dating back at least two years, raising suspicions about their authenticity. Adding to the deception, the links associated with the videos redirect users to unrelated online stores selling unrelated products like bridesmaids’ dresses and coffee.
One key characteristic of the manipulated videos is the lack of lip synchronization, a typical trait of deep fake technology. Deepfakes involve altering genuine images, audio, or videos using AI to create new content miming the original’s characteristics. Unfortunately, AI-manipulated imagery is on the rise, frequently employed to spread misinformation. As recent as May 2023, AFP debunked deep fakes promoting fake investment opportunities targeting Canadians.
Individuals must remain vigilant when encountering such videos on social media platforms. Recognizing the signs of manipulation, conducting reverse image searches, and verifying information with reputable sources is essential to combatting the spread of misinformation.