Deep Fakes and Silly Preaching
For Your Information
Someone recently sent me these utterly cringe-worthy video clips of men speaking behind pulpits. In this one, a man uses language that is, shall we say, untoward. In fact, in some of the national news I've listened to, unregenerate commentators will not even use the language that this man did, instead saying, "the 'F' word slur for gay people."
In this other video, the man behind the pulpit is for some reason (the video lacks context) going on an extended explanation of some of his private activities. Weird or not, no one wants to hear that! The man in this video, of course, maybe somewhat known for his theatrics. No news there.
Now, as far as I can tell after some searching, there is no evidence to suggest that these videos were faked, despite them being posted to Twitter by a parody account. (If you discover otherwise, please let me below, and I'll amend this).
The Twitter account seems to regularly post real content to mock it, though, in all fairness, the clips usually lack context which I suppose if known, might offer a redeeming bit of information or two? Maybe? Sadly, much of the clips the user posts needs no assistance in being bizarre.
When seeing these though, I was reminded of another recent article in the National Post discussing what is now known as "Deep Fakes". If you've ever wondered just how possible it is for someone to create a fake video of you doing or saying something you've never done or said, wonder no further. It's very possible. Be sure to watch some of the video clips in the above article to see just how convincing some of these "Deep Fakes" can be. Some are clearly fake, but the technology to make these even more convincing is always improving, which is admittedly scary. Stuff You Should Know also did a recent episode on Deep Fake technology, which is worth listening to.
While the people of the world are certainly concerned about their reputations, I believe it is the people of God, in particular pastors, whose testimony must be guarded more than others. "Deep Fake" technology right now is used mostly for internet humor and intrigue, but it is just now beginning to be used to bring public figures into question. It might at some point soon be used for even more nefarious purposes, for instance, destroying the credibility of spiritual leaders.
While the two men in the clips posted at the top of this article needed no help from advanced tech to make fools of themselves, will there be a time when we can be made fools of regardless of how careful we are?
If that sounds like sensationalism, just remember that this is the society that tried to make Brett Kavanaugh guilty of rape, and our President guilty of Russian collusion when there was no evidence that either of those things happened. A society that is willing to create hate-crime hoaxes and affirm them as true at the highest levels of public office. A society that revises history, changes the meaning of words, demonized officers of the law, and vilifies everyone they disagree with. How long before such a society uses Deep Fake technology to target Christian leaders? God only knows.