Fact checks on AI-generated content

FACT CHECK: Jessica Soho’s weight loss pill ‘report’ is AI-manipulated


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FACT CHECK: Jessica Soho’s weight loss pill ‘report’ is AI-manipulated
Sensity, a web-based tool for detecting AI, flags the video as ‘suspicious’ with an 88.2% confidence level

Claim: GMA news anchor Jessica Soho vouches for the legitimacy of the weight loss supplement EcoFit.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook reel bearing the claim has garnered 370 likes, 141 comments, and 13 shares as of writing. 

It was shared by a Facebook page named “Herbalist Hub,” which describes itself as a “health and wellness website.”

The video shows Soho seemingly reporting on the supposed proven weight loss effect of the product. The GMA logo is seen in the video.

The post is also accompanied by a caption listing the alleged health benefits of the product, a link to an online store, and text that claims EcoFit is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The facts: The supposed news report is AI-manipulated. Sensity, a web-based tool for detecting AI, found the video “suspicious” with an 88.2% confidence level. 

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

Founded in 2018, the Netherlands-based company specializes in detecting “deepfakes and other forms of malicious visual media.”

The supposed news report on the weight loss supplement also cannot be found on the GMA Public Affairs YouTube channel, which carries Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho

An Agence France-Presse fact check also cited Lee Joseph Castel, assistant vice president of GMA Public Affairs, saying the video was fake.

Unregistered: Contrary to its claim, EcoFit is not on the FDA’s list of approved food and drug products.

Deepfakes: AI tools are increasingly being used to generate deepfakes featuring prominent individuals to spread disinformation. According to human rights advocacy group Freedom House, the use of such tools threatens to “supercharge online disinformation campaigns.” (READ: Disinformation in 2023: Growing AI reliance, X’s reckoning, tech guardrails still absent

In February, a deepfake video of Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa promoting cryptocurrency also circulated online. An investigation by Swedish digital forensic group Qurium Media found that there was “solid indication” that the network circulating the video originated from Russia. 

Rappler has also debunked a couple of false claims that use AI-manipulated videos of news anchors:

 – James Patrick Cruz/Rappler.com

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 #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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