‘A complete fraud’: Dick Smith angry over deep fake video

Article by Sarah Lansdown courtesy of the Canberra Times.

PROMINENT businessman Dick Smith was scrolling through Instagram when came across a video of himself doing an interview with A Current Affair. In the video he was urging people to join a scheme to earn up to $40,000 with an initial investment of $350.

“I actually thought it was me saying these words and I thought that’s strange. I can’t remember that interview, saying those things,” Mr Smith said. “And then after looking at it carefully, I found that they’ve used some modern artificial intelligence which allows them to write text, then copy my voice, the tone of my voice, and then sync it into a previous video I’ve done.”

Mining magnates Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest also appeared in the scam video, purporting to encourage viewers to join a scheme to get rich quickly. Mr Smith said social media companies should be held accountable for the scam advertisements.

He has also urged people to not buy anything from social media ads and for the government to step in to regulate the online advertising. “It’s just a complete fraud. It’s false. I’m very angry that Facebook and Instagram run these ads, which I understand are from criminal gangs, they run them continuously.

But they’re doing it for two years, it’s now getting worse and they take no responsibility.” If he was to run a controversial ad in a newspaper, such as The Canberra Times, Mr Smith said it would go through a checking process with a legal team. But with Facebook and Instagram, there seemed to be no vetting before fake or scam ads are uploaded.

“In the case of Instagram, and Facebook the greed is so great … and so ethics gets thrown out of the window. It would cost them probably a few dollars to check each ad before they went on. So they can maximise their greed and their profits they don’t even check them.

” A spokesperson for Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, said they removed scammer videos when they became aware of them. “Meta is constantly tackling scams through a combination of technology, such as new machine learning techniques and specially trained reviewers, to identify content and accounts that violate our policies,” the spokesperson said. “We encourage people to use our in-app reporting tools when they see any suspicious activity. We encourage those who have fallen victim to scams to reach out to their local law enforcement agency.” 

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