Fact checks on AI-generated content

FACT CHECK: Manny Villar investment scheme ad is AI-manipulated


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FACT CHECK: Manny Villar investment scheme ad is AI-manipulated
The deepfake video used a clip of the former senator’s interview with Rappler in 2016. The ad changed Villar’s voice and mouth movements using AI.

Claim: Tycoon and former senator Manny Villar endorses an investment scheme named Momentum Capital, which he supposedly owns.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook video posted on June 4 has over 129,000 views as of writing. It shows Villar seemingly announcing an investment project that guarantees earnings for its participants.

Facts: Villar said in a Facebook post on June 8 that the ad is a “deepfake video,” warning the public to be more discerning and extra cautious when viewing content that promises easy money.

“Deceptive individuals used an old footage and digitally altered, using AI (artificial intelligence), what I was saying. I urge the public to disregard that video. There is no such investment program,” Villar said in his post. 


Old Rappler video: Villar’s interview with Rappler posted on June 18, 2016, was used as the source video for the AI-generated ad.

The former senator didn’t mention Momentum Capital in the original video. Villar’s entire statement in the ad is also nowhere to be found in the original video.

Suspicious mouth movements: In the altered video, Villar’s mouth movements are not in sync with his voice.

The ad starts with a clip of Villar smiling before saying these lines: “It’s very simple. I’m excited to introduce you to our new life-changing platform, Momentum Capital.”

The clip matches the 0:03 mark of the original video, but what Villar actually said was, “Well, my management style is hands-on, I work 24/7.”

AI-generated ads: This is not the first time Rappler debunked a claim generated through AI. Such claims typically use the images of public figures:

With the increasing use of AI tools to generate fake content, a January 2024 World Economic Forum report flagged AI-powered disinformation as the world’s biggest short-term threat. – Lorenz Pasion/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 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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