Deepfakery Punkage Pops Culture Of Shallow Tech Ignorant

Justin Bieber got duped into picking a fight with a Tom Cruise deepfake

Mikael Thalen

Pop star Justin Bieber was seemingly fooled on Thursday by a deepfake video of actor Tom Cruise.

How Costumes Shape the Complex Politics of ‘The Expanse’ | Behind the SeamsIn numerous stories on his Instagram, Bieber praised the actor while sharing footage of what he believed was Cruise playing the guitar.

Tagging the official account of Cruise, Bieber stated that he was “impressed” with the actor’s musical chops before challenging him once again to a boxing match.

“@tomcruise I’m impressed with your guitar skills,” Bieber wrote. “But you could still catch these hands my boy.”

Justin Bieber / Instagram

But the video referenced by Bieber actually originates from the TikTok parody account @deeptomcruise, which has racked up more than 2.9 million followers for its hyper-realistic deepfakes since first debuting in February.

The project is the brainchild of visual effects artist and deepfake creator Chris Ume, who uses his skills to digitally place the actor’s face onto that of prominent Cruise impersonator Miles Fisher

The clip in which the deepfake Cruise appears to sing and play the guitar was first posted to TikTok on Aug. 29.

Yet despite widespread media coverage of the deepfake account, Bieber seemed unaware of the digital foolery at play as he continued praising the actual Cruise.

“ALL JOKES ASIDE @tomcruise your [sic] shredding on that guitar,” Bieber added.

Justin Bieber / Instagram

Bieber even went on to follow up with a rendition of his own, playing what he described as a cover of Cruise’s new song over multiple stories on Instagram.

It wasn’t until two hours after his original post that Bieber appeared to realize that the video didn’t actually feature the famed actor.

“That’s not really Tom Cruise?” Bieber wrote. “Lol, oh well, still hilarious.”

Justin Bieber / Instagram

Cruise has not publicly responded to Bieber’s misattribution. The pop star is far from the first person to be fooled by the popular TikTok account, although Ume has previously stated that his intention is not to trick viewers.

“The important thing is, we didn’t want to fool people at any moment,” Ume said in March. “If I can help in creating awareness, or even work on detection in the future, I would love to.”Read More

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s