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A Belgian Political Party Is Circulating A Trump Deepfake Video

"As you know, I had the balls to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, and so should you."

Posted on May 20, 2018, at 12:42 p.m. ET

A social democratic party in Belgium, sp.a, just published a fake video of President Donald Trump telling the country to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

Trump heeft een boodschap voor alle Belgen... #Klimaatpetitie

@spa_a / Twitter

The video is a deepfake, which was first debunked by Lead Stories. It was created with voice- and image-altering technology that's quickly becoming more sophisticated.

The party published the video to both Twitter and Facebook, where it has already been viewed 20,000 times. It appears Facebook commenters have not called the video out for being fake. The sp.a political party did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.

In the video, which is in English but has Dutch subtitles, the fake Trump says, "As you know, I had the balls to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, and so should you."

The creators of the video seemed to try to copy Trump's inflection and speaking habits.

"You even pollute more than you did before the agreement," the video says. "Shame. Total shame. At least I'm a fair person. People love me because I'm a fair person. I'm the fairest person on Earth."

At one point, the fake Trump says, "We all know climate change is fake, just like this video."

However, that's not translated into Dutch in the subtitles and the volume drops sharply at the beginning of that sentence, so it's hard to make out. There would be no way for a viewer who's watching the video without volume to know it's fake from the text.

Instead of revealing the hoax, the party goes into promoting a climate change petition directed toward Belgian parliament. So far it has just over 900 signatures of the required 25,000.

"Are we really going to do something about the climate? Or will it stay as blablabla?" the video says at the end. "Together we can really work on the climate. Sign the climate petition."

Deepfakes first showed up in porn, and some social networks have subsequently banned them but without much success. As the new technology rises, experts are warning it could give rise to an "infopocalypse."

Matthias Niessner, who runs the Visual Computing Lab at Technical University Munich and researches deepfakes, previously told BuzzFeed News differentiating between the real and the fake is not an easy task.

“Essentially, we have a user study where we asked people try to spot the difference — turns out we humans are not so great at it,” he said.

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