Fact checks on AI-generated content

FACT CHECK: Billy Crawford interview used in weight loss ad is AI-edited


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FACT CHECK: Billy Crawford interview used in weight loss ad is AI-edited
A video interview of Billy Crawford falsely associates the actor’s weight loss journey with EcoFit, a product that claims to be a slimming supplement

Claim: Filipino actor and singer Billy Crawford vouches for EcoFit, a product that claims to be a weight loss supplement.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook video containing the claim has 3,700 reactions, 365,000 views, 885 comments, and 260 shares as of writing.

The video features a clip of Crawford’s appearance on the talk show Tonight with Boy Abunda, where he discusses his weight loss journey. The video shows Crawford seemingly promoting EcoFit and providing anecdotal evidence to support the purported weight loss effects of the product.

The post is accompanied by a link to a website to order the weight loss supplement. 

The facts: The supposed interview is AI-manipulated. Sensity, a Netherlands-based tool for detecting AI, found the video “suspicious” with a 93.1% confidence level. 

“High confidence indicates that the detector has found definite signals of AI generation or manipulation. Minimum confidence for this detector is 50%,” according to Sensity. 

The original and unaltered video of the interview was posted on the ABS-CBN Entertainment YouTube channel in November 2019. In the original interview, Crawford made no mention of EcoFit; instead, he attributed his weight loss to the keto diet. In the manipulated clip, “keto” was replaced with “EcoFit”.

Not FDA registered: EcoFit is not on the list of approved food and drug products of the Philippine Food and Drug Administration.

AI disinformation: AI-manipulated content has been increasingly used for disinformation campaigns, often exploiting the likeness of popular personalities to endorse products or spread false narratives. The Global Risks Report 2024 from the World Economic Forum identified misinformation and disinformation as among the most critical short-term global risks over the next two years. (READ: Deepfakes: How to empower youth to fight the threat of misinformation and disinformation)

Earlier in March, Rappler debunked an AI-manipulated report of news anchor Jessica Soho supposedly advertising the same product. 

Rappler has also fact-checked other videos manipulated using AI tools:

– Jerico Alvaran/Rappler.com

Jerico Alvaran is a Rappler volunteer. He is a senior statistics major at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to the #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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