Yeah I follow politics very closely and I had never heard of RRN until I read this article lol. I really doubt this is something the GOP base is devouring.

Also, is thinking Russia hacked voting machines in 2016 and had control over Donald Trump via a pee-pee tape a high IQ belief in your opinion? What about gifting tens of millions of dollars over to the Lincoln Project for dumb online ads so a bunch of ex-GOP operatives can buy yachts and mansions? Pretty skeptical!

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Mar 29·edited Mar 29

But the ease of making deepfakes will basically annihilate the ability of the establishment itself to distinguish real from fake sources. How will they know an incriminating audio tape of a politician is real? Because the guy who sent it is a former staffer? But disgruntled employees will be able to obtain deepfakes as easily as anyone else, and eventually some will. A MSM-released video or audio will be no more credible than an MSM reporter reporting that so-and-so has accused Bret Kavanagh of sexual assault. I'm not sure if intelligent people were more likely to believe the Ford allegation against him, but there's no reason why one should believe it simply because credible sources report on it, since they themselves have no real way of knowing if it's true; they have no special insight into the integrity of the accuser.

So I'd predict that everyone's credibility will decline, since it will be nearly impossible to verify if a story based on audio or video evidence is true unless it's basically from the state of the union address. Almost every bit of compromising audio or video, regardless of who reports it, will be like a what a sexual miscondict allegation with no witnesses or evidence other than the accusation is today. Only it'll be 'worse' because at least in that case, mainstream sources were able to marshal feminism to magically confer credibility on accusers becase #believeallwomen, but I doubt there's an ideological framework that can broadly confer credibility on people who happen to be sending compromising tapes of politicians to newspapers; mainstream sources will have to acknowledge this and treat even wrongdoings with seemingly irrefutable video evidence as 'alleged.' So all of it will have a broad pall of uncertainty around it. Every politician will be on tape talking about 'grabbing them by the pussy,' no one will really know if they actually said it, everyone will be able to credibly deny everything, and your opinion on whether any particular politician did say it will mostly depend on whether you think he's 'the kind of guy who would say that,' which mostly means whether he's on your team or not.

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Counter Argument:

Since conservatives just want to grill they will spend less time on the internet consuming news of any kind. Liberals meanwhile will be exposed to whatever nonsense the internet has to offer.

We already see this. Liberals got access to smartphones and immediately became political and culture war doomers that became super depressed. Conservatives kept on trying to get their kids to soccer practice.

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This scenario is so depressingly believable it makes me wonder if liberals are yapping about Deep Fakes HOPING conservative grifters pick up that ball and run with it.

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Imho you overestimate the perceived trustworthiness of NYT & similar regime media.

Due to their complicity in the Covid Atrocities, regime media have strongly negative credibility. I.e. if NYT sez X, I'm inclined automatically to assume not-X is the reality

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This theory of the GOP seems to overrate the media and underrate the party convention. There have always been GOP voters who believe crazy things. What matters is picking Dwight Eisenhower instead of Joseph McCarthy to be presidential nominee, not worrying that some voters read pamphlets informing them that Eisenhower is going to turn us over to a new world order in the UN because he's against the Bricker Amendment. If you can't do the former, it won't matter that much how much you try to reign in the latter. Focus on the most obvious problem; who the leader is and what they can or can't deliver to the voters.

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Since when is establishment media interested in real reportage on any critical issue? Since when has it helpfully reported any genuine, politically divisive issue? I date the beginning of its privileging of The Narrative over facts (the literate form of deep fakes) from the attempt to frame Zimmermann, no hero, but not a criminal either.

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"You’re probably thinking this must be parody, but I promise you it’s real. "

The RRN website says in bold "This website contains humor, parody, and satire."

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My first thought after reading this article is: At this point, if the "RRN crowd" are essentially subhuman, which is how your characterization reads to me, shouldn't we like, implement IQ minimums to qualify for voting or something? Instead of letting these barely-human degenerates run amok with our precious Democracy capital D. Maybe that can be your next post, why universal voting rights are bad for democracy (or why democracy is a bad idea because it allows Trump supporters to vote, however you want to frame it). I expect that wouldn't be any more controversial than the one about euthanasia.

That aside and moving on to the actual topic of deepfakes, as you correctly point out, we are already there with text, so I don't see why images and video will be any different. Prominent figures on both sides regularly say things that are utterly appalling to people on the other side with no need to cook them up in deepfakes. We don't need this technology to create a split reality, we are already there, and it's not limited to "the RRN crowd," although I suppose you could say that is the most extreme manifestation of it. But two very intelligent people can obviously see the same exact same statement, event or incident and come to opposite conclusions about it purely due to ideological priors and/or political tribalism.

>What if you’re an independent journalist who happens to get exclusive audio of a world leader plotting a coup? Without a way to verify that the audio is legitimate, your work will be ignored.<

I don't think we need deepfake technology to protect prominent figures from this sort of scenario, either. When was the last time something like this ever played out in the real world? Watergate, maybe? Media/government and their buddies have already got this covered without any need to use the possibility of deepfakes as a shield. Remember Hunter's laptop? That wasn't a deepfake, it was real, yet it didn't seem to matter. Left-wing media never reported any of the Bidens' questionable financial dealings, so to the left, the issue effectively doesn't exist and is simply a fabricated conspiracy theory. Meanwhile, those on the right already hated Joe Biden anyway, and did not really need to see any of the receipts in order to feel that way.

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It's interesting that you think deepfakes would come more from small outlets than corporate ones. I think distrust is growing with MSM due to them being wrong all the time.

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At the behest of the Clinton campaign, the Steele Dossier was made up out of thin air and sold to the FBI, which probably knew it was a fraud from the get-go. Then it was leaked to and recirculated by most of the MSM for years as solid evidence of collusion.

Many such invented stories have been piling up for the last decade, or maybe since the Sadam-Bin Laden collusion and Iraqi WMD.

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The lack of course correction in my opinion derives at least in part from arguments not making any difference to the other side anymore. So the optimal strategy is to wind up with leaders who just rile up your own people and wring more turnout out of them.

Also I still think that left-wing-inventrd "stochastic terrorism" concept is far more dangerous as a censorship rationale than it is useful as a description of dumb ideas pushing people over the edge...

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The brain drain is indeed a massive problem for Republicans. I already see many smart people who may have been Romney-Ryan voters identifying themselves as classical liberals instead, likely to not be associated with the Ultra MAGA populists. There's only so much magazines like American Affairs can do to provide intellectual weight to right-populism.

As for how the Republican turn toward populism would affect elections, I think educational level will become the main divider in politics. The gender gap will widen because women are getting degrees at much higher rates than men now. Race will matter a lot less as college-educated whites flee the party and working-class minorities (who already tend to be socially conservative and economically populist) start flowing in. The next few years will be interesting to see play out, as AI becomes better and companies will develop competing chatbots that tell users what they want to hear. TruthSocialGPT soon.

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LOL again the IQ trope?

Wonder what you would say about the European elite in the Middle ages

definitely high IQ to believe literally in the Bible and whatever Aristotle wrote 1500 years before

"Electorally, this will benefit the left, since most people don’t share the low IQ-low trust combination"

no, the left is simply low IQ, and delusional ( what is a woman?), buuut, just like those medieval high IQ guys who believed blindly in the Bible..... they HOLD REAL POWER, so they can get away with their own stupidity.

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This great article describes a far more dangerous source of deep fakery than RRN--our unelected govt (and large parts of the elected too) controlling MSM and Social Media to shape and control opinion.

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Deepfakes are a Type 1 error. I assume when deepfakes are high quality and widespread, Type 2 errors will be increasingly common. (i.e. mistakenly labeling a true video as a deepfake).

The MSM might not publish outright lies like the right wing media Richard mentions

But they are engaged in widespread Type 2 errors by falsely/wilfully labeling true stories as "misinformation" and/or suppressing them, e.g. the Hunter Biden laptop story. So I can see the MSM decrying true videos as deepfakes, especially in situations where verification is difficult or impossible, like warzones.

A second point -- most people don't make decisions based on a single news source, but rather the cumulation of multiple sources -; from MSM to social media to substack to family/friends. The future wide spread nature of deepfakes could mean that you end up getting served the same deepfake from enough sources to be convincing, even if no single source is sufficiently credible.

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