Deepfakes in the 2024 Presidential Election

maintained by Hany Farid

Deepfakes (aka synthethic media or generative AI) have captured the imagination of some and struck fear in others. Deepfakes -- image, audio, or video automatically synthesized by a machine-learning system -- are the latest in a long line of techniques used to manipulate reality. Their introduction, however, poses new risks due to the democratized access to sophisticated manipulation tools.

Of particular concern is how deepfakes will be weaponized in politics. Here we keep track of known examples of deepfakes in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

Please email me ( if you have supporting evidence that any of the claims below are inaccurate, or if you have additional examples.

What Ron DeSantis Should Say But Won't

September 1, 2023 | manipulated video

content: YouTube creator C3PMeme made this video of Ron DeSantis saying, in part, "I've realized that I need to drop out of this race immediately. I was told I could be President by some very powerful people and I took some very bad advice... I never should have challenged President Trump, the greatest president of my life time... It's time to right this ship and help President Trump get reelected to make America great again."

analysis: From the fairly crude mouth motion and audio quality to the video description "A deepfake of what Ron DeSantis might say if he dropped out of the race (which he should)", this video is obviously a fake and was not created to be deceptive. Based on our forensic analysis, we find that the voice in this video is highly likely to be AI-generated.

fact check: Forbes
An image of Ron DeSantis at his desk

Trump Attacks Iowa

July 17, 2023 | manipulated video

content: A PAC supporting Ron DeSantis created an ad attacking former President Donald Trump. The ad takes issue with Trump's attack on Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. In the video ad, we hear Trump's voice criticizing Reynolds. The text appears to be based on a post by Trump on Truth Social. The ad is scheduled to run in Iowa with at least a $1 million ad buy.

analysis: A person familiar with the ad confirmed that Trump's voice was AI generated.

fact check: Politico | PolitiFact
A political ad containing an AI-synthesized voice of Donald Trump

Ask AI Suarez

July 8, 2023 | Ask AI Suarez

content: A super PAC supporting Miami Mayor Francis Suarez's presidential run launched an interactive AI chatbot to engage with voters. Suarez's campaign denies being involved in creating this AI bot or what their PAC does.

analysis: The content is clearly labeled as AI generated. It appears that the bot mostly listens to a user's question and then directs them to a relevant stock video response.

fact check: AP News
An AI version of Francis Suarez

Trump or Biden 2024

July 8, 2023 | manipulated video

content: AI-generated versions of Donald Trump and Joe Biden engaged in a user-prompted debate is streaming 24/7 on Twitch. The content is often riddled with offensive language and appears to be powered by a chatGPT-like language model for crafting the script, voice cloning, and a lip-sync video manipulation.

analysis: The content is clearly labeled as AI generated and parody.
An image of Trump and Biden sharing the stage in their AI-generated fake debate

Trump Dancing with Young Girl

June 14, 2023 | manipulated image

content: An image purportedly showing Donald Trump dancing with a young girl spread on Twitter and TikTok. This image was not associated with a political advertisement.

analysis: The image contains physical inconsistencies consistent with AI generation including a misformed hand of the man in the background with six fingers grasping a glass of beer. The girl's left eye contains a specular reflection consistent with, for example, a camera flash, but her right eye improbably does not contain the same reflection.

Trump's campaign accused the DeSantis campaign which has previously created fake images of Trump (see below). The DeSantis campaign denied the allegation.

fact check: Newsweek | AP News
A fake photo of Donald Trump dancing with a young girl

Leaked Trump Tape

June 11, 2023 | manipulated audio

content: This audio was created by Matthew Ellis with full disclosure that it is a deepfake. The description on YouTube reads "This is a DEEP FAKE. The purpose of this video it is to illustrate the severity of Trump's actions listed in the Indictment and to show how AI and Fake Audio/Video recordings need to be flagged by Platforms and Content Creators."

analysis: This audio is clearly labeled as a deepfake. It is included here to show the quality of AI-cloned voices.

fact check:
A screenshot of a YouTube video that transcribes the fake lekaed Trump tape

DeSantis Campaign Ad

June 7, 2023 | manipulated images [00:24-00:30 sec]

content: A DeSantis campaign video was releaased attacking Donald Trump by showing, in part, a montage of photos of Trump embracing Dr. Fauci.

analysis: Three of the photos in the six-photo montage (top-left, bottom-center, and bottom-right) show clear signs of AI-generatation. Each of these images contain physical inconsistencies including: the text on the White House logo is nonsensical (top-left), the stars on the flag are misshapen (bottom-center), and the shape of Trump's ear is inconsistent with reference images (bottom-right).

fact check: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
a fake image of President Trump embracing Dr. Fauci

DeSantis and Musk on Twitter

May 23, 2023 | manipulated audio

content: Former President Donald Trump released an AI-generated clip of a fake Twitter Spaces event consisting of a conversation between Elon Musk, George Soros, Klaus Schwab, an incessantly coughing Dick Cheney, Satan, and Adolf Hitler. This clip was released after the glitchy Twitter Spaces launch of DeSantis' presidential announcement.

analysis: The addition of Hitler and The Devil makes it obvious that this audio is fake.

fact check: Gizmodo
a screenshot

Harris Rambling Speech

May 4, 2023 | manipulated video

content: A recorded speech originally given by Vice President Harris on April 25, 2023 at Howard University was digitally altered to replace the original voice track with a seemingly inebriated and rambling voice saying "Today is today, and yesterday was today yesterday, tomorrow will be today tomorrow so live today so the future today will be as the past today as it is tomorrow."

analysis: There are clear signs of audio/video misalignment. The original video was eventually released showing the same clothing and background, and the impersonated audio was traced back to a TikTok user @mommyrn88. It is not entirely clear if this is a lipsync deepfake or just a classic audio/video dubbing.

fact check: Reuters
 President Harris at the microphone

RNC's Biden Ad

April 25, 2023 | manipulated video

content: Shortly after President Biden announced his bid for reelection, the Republican National Committee (RNC) released a video ad featuring a series of fake images. The video imagines "what if crimes worsens," "what if international tensions escalate," and "what if the financial system crumbles," each with an associated fake image showing the corresponding apocalyptic future.

analysis: A small disclaimer in the top left of the frame says "built entirely with AI imagery," and the caption underneath the YouTube video reads, "An AI-generated look into the country's possible future if Joe Biden is re-elected in 2024."

fact check: The Verge
A single frame of an R\
NC ad showing a dystopian San Francisco with the title 'What if crime worsens'

Trump Praying

March 24, 2023 | manipulated image

content: Weeks before the first indictment of former President Donald Trump, a series of fake images circulated online showing his arrest. In response, Trump shared his own fake image on Truth Social showing him kneeling in prayer.

analysis: Initial versions of AI-generated images struggled to create realistic and physically consistent hands. In this image, Trump's fingers are misformed. The faces of the men in the background are also highly distorted, consistent with physical inconsistencies made by generative AI systems.

fact check: BBC
A fake photo of Donald Trump praying

Biden on Banking Turmoil

March 15, 2023 | manipulated audio

content: Following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the resulting financial instability, an audio clip purportedly of President Biden was released in which he is heard saying, in part, "all the money is gone" and "a collapse is imminent."

analysis: When separated from the recording, the background noise has a highly regular pattern that appears to be synthetic and not the result of a physically noisy system. The cadence of the speech is highly regular, consistent with synthetically-generated speech and atypical of natural speech.

fact check: Associated Press
President Biden at the microphone