Sunday, December 3, 2023

A former Alberta justice minister claims videos of him are 'fake.' Not everyone agrees - CBC.ca

Deepfakes are becoming more worrisome and frequent. But experts say false claims are, too

Near the end of September, a series of videos were posted to social media that purported to show some familiar figures in Calgary's political and legal worlds taking turns performing racist Indigenous caricatures.

One video appeared to take place at a barbecue, and another around a table with open bottles of alcohol and empty plates. The men purportedly pictured were Jonathan Denis, Alberta's former justice minister under the Progressive Conservative government from 2012 to 2015, and Calgary-based businessman and political activist Craig Chandler.

The videos spread quickly through social media to the point where Denis felt compelled to respond.

At the time, he offered an apology with a caveat. Later, he would claim the videos were fakes, and the duo would submit what they called proof of that claim.

But experts say claims of falsity in situations like this are hard to prove because the technology is debatable, even unreliable — and hints at a more significant problem to come.

The initial response

After the four videos floated around social media for some time, Denis sent a statement to local media outlets, writing that while he had no recollection of the events, it was possible they took place years ago while he was under the influence of alcohol. He said he apologized unreservedly to anyone he offended — if they depicted "real events." It would be his sole statement on the matter at...

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