Betting apps being promoted by exploiting Virat Kohli’s image with deepfake technology surface

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A disturbing trend of digital scammers exploiting celebrities’ images through deepfake technology has emerged, with a recent video featuring Indian cricket icon Virat Kohli being manipulated to promote a betting application falsely. The video circulated widely on social media platforms, presents Kohli purportedly endorsing the betting app, claiming substantial returns from minimal investments.

To lend credibility to the fake advertisement, the creators skilfully integrated footage of a renowned TV journalist, creating the illusion of the ad being broadcast during a live news segment. The fake narrative suggests that Kohli achieved significant financial gains through the app, enticing viewers with the allure of easy money, reported Live Mint.

The manipulation of the video involved altering an interview clip of Kohli, replacing his authentic voice with a synthetic one advocating for the online game. Despite Kohli’s clear stance against endorsing such platforms, the edited footage falsely portrays him as a supporter, promising lucrative returns on investments.

In another instance, a deepfake video depicts Kohli speaking in English with an occasional American accent, further blurring the lines between reality and deception. The fabricated clip features another newscaster presenting the gambling app alongside the cricketer, perpetuating the false narrative.

This deceptive approach reflects similar instances involving public figures, including cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who fell victim to a fake video where he seemingly endorsed a gaming application. Tendulkar, expressing concern over the spread of misinformation and deepfakes, emphasized the need for swift action from social media platforms to curb their dissemination.

Highlighting the severity of the issue, Bollywood actress Rashmika Mandhana, known for her recent role in “Animal,” faced a similar ordeal when her image was superimposed onto a video of another individual, underscoring the pervasive nature of this technological malpractice.

As deepfake technology continues to evolve, posing significant challenges to the integrity of digital content, there is an urgent need for robust measures to combat its misuse. Public figures and celebrities remain vulnerable targets, with their images and voices manipulated to propagate false narratives and deceptive advertisements. Efforts to raise awareness and enhance digital literacy, coupled with proactive intervention from social media platforms, are imperative in thwarting the proliferation of deepfakes and safeguarding against their harmful implications.