A new series of Tom Cruise videos have been racking up the views since appearing on TikTok last week. They feature the Mission: Impossible star swinging a golf club, performing a magic trick, and tripping over his own two feet in an unusual move for the normally agile actor. There’s just one small catch: It’s not really Cruise.
In what’s being described by experts as “the most alarmingly lifelike examples” of Deepfake technology, according to the New York Post, the Cruise videos have been captivating social media users due to how closely they pass for the real thing. Of course, the terrifying implications of Deepfake tech is that it can be used for nefarious reasons by creating extremely realistic videos of anyone from world leaders to celebrities doing things that they’re not actually doing.
“Deepfakes will impact public trust, provide cover & plausible deniability for criminals/abusers caught on video or audio, and will be (and are) used to manipulate, humiliate, & hurt people. If you’re building manipulated/synthetic media detection technology, get it moving,” online security expert Rachel Tobac tweeted shortly after the Cruise videos went viral. “Also important to mention that just because you feel you can personally tell the difference between synthetic & authentic media, it doesn’t mean we’re good to go. It matters what the general public believes. Altered media has real world safety, political, etc. impact for everyone.”
While the persons responsible for the “deeptomcruise” TikTok channel are not known, you can see below why the videos are freaking people out, and why experts for the UK Times are placing them in “the top 5 percent of deepfakes out there in terms of quality.”
— Ashish Chauhan (@ashishchauhan) February 26, 2021
This is not Tom Cruise
This is a deep fake
This probably isn't great news for Cameo pic.twitter.com/CqkzNOAFQp
— Damian Burns (@damianburns) February 26, 2021
Here’s the crazy thing about this Tom Cruise deepfake….
This isn’t even a super high quality deepfake and I’m willing to bet that it could fool most people.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) February 26, 2021
(Via New York Post)