Deepfake video of Bella Hadid stating her support for Israel goes viral

By Charlie Sawyer

Published Oct 31, 2023 at 11:46 AM

Reading time: 1 minute

A deepfake video of Bella Hadid publicly showing her support for Israel has gone viral. The clip, which was shared on X, formerly Twitter, currently has over 27 million views and shows the model clearly stating that she “stands with Israel against terror.”

Soon after the video was published, netizens began questioning its authenticity. For one, it’s an incredibly poorly made AI deepfake—I mean, it doesn’t take an Apple engineer to see that. Plus, Hadid is half-Palestinian and has been incredibly vocal about her support for the people of Palestine. She has even gone as far as to co-sign a letter to President Joe Biden pleading for officials to call for a ceasefire across Israel and Gaza.

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A post shared by Bella 🦋 (@bellahadid)

Thanks to the internet, finding out the origins of the deepfake video is quite simple, particularly because the individual who first posted the clip actually names the original creator.

The man in question, Yishay Raziel, describes himself as a musician, sound designer, and voice-over artist in his Instagram bio. Raziel has posted a number of videos and posts regarding the ongoing conflict, all of which make it evidently clear that he is actively defending the state of Israel.

And this Hadid stint isn’t Raziel’s first rodeo. The deepfake fanatic has created a number of AI videos wherein he changes the words of politicians, celebrities, and presenters.

While one would think that, in this day and age, social media platforms would be able to filter out and erase deepfake videos, it’s clear that this is not yet the case. However, X’s users have added context to the video and Elon Musk’s formerly owned platform did manage to add the tag ‘Manipulated media’ to the clip. The problem is, that the video has already reached practically every corner of the earth, pushing a narrative and opinion that is false.

Celebrity deepfakes are nothing new. It’s a persistent issue that online platforms are struggling to combat. And these videos can range from political propaganda to porn.

While this particular video of Hadid was rather poorly made and therefore easy to spot as misinformation, there are individuals who’ve created and published incredibly realistic and high-quality AI replicas. It’s only a matter of time before this kind of fake news causes catastrophic damage.

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