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Guardian Gets in on the 'Cheap Fakes' That Are 'Low-Level Manipulation'

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

When that video of President Joe Biden in Normandy went viral, the Associated Press was quick to step in and fill in the missing context, just like they did with Donald Trump's "bloodbath" video. The Washington Post also did an extensive piece on the videos, which Donald Trump was using to present the president as "infirm, addled or out of his depth."

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They're late to the party, but The Guardian also wants to weigh in on these "cheap fakes."

Rachel Leingang reports:

For viewers of rightwing media or social media feeds tailored toward conservatives, these videos of Biden surface near-daily in an attempt to underscore one of the president’s key liabilities, his age.

They’re often selectively edited to make Biden look, well, old. They kick off a series of headlines about how his age or senility is showing, then another series of headlines about how the videos are created to mislead.

An NBC News editor referred to these video news cycles as a reflection of the online media ecosystem this election, calling them “a bizarre Rorschach test in which some people see one thing and most everyone else sees something else”.

They also show that the looming threat of deepfakes – AI-generated content that makes people say or do things they haven’t actually done – doesn’t hold a candle to the much more common, and easier to create, cheap fakes, videos edited specifically to mislead.

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Editing videos to cut out important context is horrible, which is why the media has jumped in to "debunk" selective edits from popular X accounts like Aaron Rupar and Acyn. Oh wait, they haven't.

If Republicans are manipulating these videos to make Biden look old and infirm, how is it that Biden keeps providing such rich material for "manipulation"?

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