News segments appearing to be from anchors on national TV networks went viral on TikTok and prompted the social media network to take action against the original creator.
In one video, CBS News anchor Anne-Marie Green “sits down” with Krishna Sahay, the creator behind these videos. One featured a crass fake interview with “the only survivor” of a fake school shooting, with Green’s persona asking Sahay a number of questions about the event. In another video, the likeness of Norah O’Donnell from CBS Evening News is used in a deceptive video.
CBS News and TikTok were not immediately available for comment.
Sahay has been at the root of a number of deepfakes mocking terrorist attacks, mass shootings, and victims, garnering hundreds of thousands of views. Sahay’s TikTok account has been banned since the videos went live, according to Forbes, but the content is still out there on reposts from his former millions of followers and on YouTube.
The growing trend of deepfake videos impersonating celebrities and news anchors making the rounds on social media platforms like TikTok and X is a major concern, especially so close to the next election. These videos can look realistic and contribute to misinformation campaigns or are used in deceptive scam campaigns, as seen in the cases of Tom Hanks and CBS This Morning’s Gayle King, who were seen “promoting” products they had never heard of before.
Anchors at BBC and CNN are also featured in fake videos portrayed as authentic news segments. Trump and his son spread a deepfake video of Anderson Cooper’s digital doppelganger on X and Truth Social, according to Forbes. A video of CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward taking cover from rockets at the Israel-Gaza border went viral after the audio was altered to undermine her reporting, according to Forbes.
“The audio in the video posted and shared on X is fabricated, inaccurate, and irresponsibly distorts the reality of the moment that was covered live on CNN, which people should watch in full for themselves on a trusted platform,” said a CNN spokesperson.
Social media platforms like TikTok have policies in place when uploading deepfake videos, including a label identifying such content as AI-generated. TikTok removes altered videos posted without the digital watermark, such as in the case of Sahay’s account.
As the Misinformation section outlines, TikTok, like many social media apps, does not “allow inaccurate, misleading, or false content that may cause significant harm to individuals or society, regardless of intent.”
Even still, in the time that it takes a video to be taken down or an account to be deactivated, a short-lived video can gain infamy through reposts.