YouTube deletes more than 1,000 AI-generated videos

Fake AI video
10 US dollars for a MacBook directly from Jennifer Aniston – If it’s too good to be true, it’s almost always a scam. (Source: Reddit – Screenshot by Posteo)

What is real and what is computer-generated? As artificial intelligence (AI) is creating increasingly believable media, it’s becoming more difficult to distinguish this difference with images and videos. On the video platform YouTube, this has recently led a flood of fake ads and promotional videos in which AI-generated images and voices of celebrities attempt to lure web users into scams and, for example, selling questionable supplemental health insurance policies.

The video platform has now taken action against the fake videos and deleted more than 1,000 of them. The user accounts that were used to upload the videos were also blocked. This course of action from YouTube was a reaction to research made by the news site, 404 Media.

In the advertisements and videos, it’s said that AI-generated fake videos of US celebrities like Taylor Swift, Steve Harvey or Joe Rogan endorsed scams. YouTube users as well as the celebrities themselves apparently regularly complained to YouTube about the fake content. However, this media remained on the platform in part for months.

The problem continues

The problem has not been solved by deleting the videos: YouTube admits to being aware of emerging “trends” in which fake videos impersonate endorsement or a relationship with celebrities. 404 Media also reports of similar new ads on YouTube that misuse AI-generated voices and videos of celebrities.

In an example, a fake Jennifer Aniston advertised selling MacBooks for 10 US dollars – which is practically giving it away for free. All one needs to do is visit “her” website. Regardless of the unbelievable content, the image and sound are hard to distinguish as AI fakes without being an expert – both the depicted woman and her voice seem authentic.

In another video, a fake voice of former US president, Donald Trump, warned of an impending third World War and a silent, untraceable attack on America that would create a food crisis and would bring a collapse to civilisation. Trump can not be seen.

There is only solution to not falling victim to this horrific scenario and to protect your own family from this impending downfall: “Trump” recommends acquiring a meter of copper cable and listening to the podcast from Teddy Daniels, a former candidate for Pennsylvania governor. The video has already been online for two months and has been viewed more than 660,000 times.

The fake Trump videos also circulated on Facebook in connection with Daniels. And the Aniston fakes are also to have appeared in one form or another on other social-media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.

Google responds

A Google spokesperson explained to 404 Media that the company examined the reported ads and has already removed them several times. The AI videos violate the rules of the platform – such as the use of clickbait being prohibited. “We are constantly working to enhance our enforcement systems in order to stay ahead of the latest trends and scam tactics, and ensure that we can respond to emerging threats quickly”, Google promised.

YouTube is aware of the fake advertising with celebrities and fraud attempts. To fight this, the company is investing in automatic image recognition technology that is also supposed to verify the authenticity of celebrities in videos.

AI nude images

Meanwhile, the social-media platform X had no other ideas than to temporarily disable searching for “Taylor Swift” for all users this past weekend due to fake pornographic images. Computer-generated sexual depictions with an appearance of the singer emerged en masse on the platform. X manager, Joe Benarroch, told Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal that they would keep an eye on continued attempts to publish images.

The images are said to have been generated using the AI program, Designer, from Microsoft. For the time being, Microsoft did not want to confirm this to 404 Media but pointed out that the terms and conditions of the software prohibit generating sexual content. Additionally, security measures are built in to the program that are regularly improved. (hcz)