So the year of 2020 finally draws to an end. What a year it was. Started with a lot of potential, hope and promises. In reality, the year mostly presented us with agony, loss and misery. Though the last hours brought some positive news (of vaccine), the year left a stained memory to most of us.
In a year dominated by a pesky virus, at times it felt the whole of humanity would have been brought to its knees by bitrates of streaming services. At least that’s how it sounded when delivering high definition contents were putting the networks under pressure. Luckily, [politicians and technology chiefs agreed](https://theverge.com/2020/3/19/21187078/netflix-europe -streaming-european-union-bit-rate-broadband-coronavirus) to cut video quality.
Fast forward, I think the “deep-faked Christmas speech by HM the Queen of the UK” was the single scariest wake-up call for the uninformed. Deep-fake technologies use existing genuine footage of a person to derive ‘digital -persona’ which then can have messages read-out or activities performed . In recent months, we have seen some alarming counterfeit/deep-faked content highlighting celebrities. Statements by politicians like Barak Obama were faked as part of experiments were published.
In the UK, a British media outlet ITV decided to create one such video targeting HMQ to raise awareness of such contents. Understandably, the intent seems to be a valid one, assuming, if a person of such importance can be faked anyone can be.
The worry is that if such a person can be deep-faked, with so many online materials being published by unsuspecting netizens, innocent people can be victims. Sadly the trouble has already begun.
In some corners of the globe, where social media usage is not all that careful business, it is opening all sorts of cans of worms. I see many teenagers and social-media-veterans alike, often sharing video and image contents of their personal lives very openly. With little attention to their own privacy, these users are only potential victims of deep-fake or other content-based-crimes. What saddens me more is that in many countries in the ‘Developing Economy’ belt, social media literacy is barely accompanied by ‘true impact awareness’.
Since we cannot roll-back social media, I think our best bet is to just raise awareness.