21:37 GMT04 July 2020
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    The crudely edited video gone viral has renewed tech security experts’ concerns about what more advanced technologies can do in the wrong hands.

    A fake video showing an apparently intoxicated US House Speaker has gone viral across social media platforms, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. According to the newspaper, the video was edited in order to make Pelosi look and sound as if she was heavily inebriated.

    According to the report, the video showing Pelosi speaking at the Centre for American Progress on Wednesday was slowed down to 75% of its original speed. While such a stretch should inevitably lower her voice pitch, the editors compensated for that, essentially normalising her voice to sound like her normal voice, Washington Post says.

    ​The newspaper provides a "verified" video showing Pelosi talking and acting noticeably faster. A side-by-side comparison makes the edit apparent.

    A YouTube representative told The Hill that the video hosting platform removed the clip citing copyright policy violations.

    "YouTube has clear policies that outline what content is not acceptable to post and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us. These videos violated our policies and have been removed," the YouTube spokesperson told The Hill.

    The video once sparked concerns over how social media and digital manipulation can be used to disseminate misinformation. While this video of Pelosi has been edited rather primitively, more complex technologies that involve machine learning allow for the creation of the so-called "deep fake videos," which allow anyone to put any words into the mouths of anybody including celebrities and politicians. While the first fakes were easy to spot, as the technology gets better this will become more difficult, tech experts warned Bloomberg back in September 2018.

    This is not the first time the House Speaker has been accused of being drunk. YouTube videos (which may or not be edited) uploaded as early as two years ago implicated Pelosi, 79, of being drunk, showing stuttering, slurring speech and sometimes appearing to have problems keeping her balance.

    On Wednesday, Speaker Pelosi, a Democratic caucus leader, had a meeting with US President Trump during which they were supposed to discuss a $1 trillion infrastructure investment bill. However, earlier that day, she convened a Democratic caucus special meeting to discuss the impeachment of the President. Following that special meeting, Pelosi accused Trump of being engaged in a "cover-up," which resulted in the president walking out on the talks.

    "I don't do cover-ups," Trump told reporters after the botched meeting.

    US Democrats initiated a series of investigations against President Trump after the Mueller report on alleged collusion with Russia found no evidence of wrongdoing but remained ambiguous on the issue of obstruction of justice. Trump is resisting the investigations, ordering his aides to ignore House subpoenas on the basis that special counsellor Robert Mueller has already interviewed them once.


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    editing software, drunk, video, fake, Nancy Pelosi, United States
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