Who is able to produce:

Professional – Amateur – Anyone.

People share millions of photos and videos on social media every day. Some of that content is manipulated, often for benign reasons, like making a video sharper or audio clearer. But some people engage in media manipulation in order to mislead. Manipulations can be made through simple technology like Photoshop or through sophisticated tools that use artificial intelligence or “deep learning” techniques to create videos that distort reality – usually called “deepfakes” (deepfakes are presented separately in this analysis).

Level of deception:

Low – Average – High – Very high.

Identity is becoming harder to validate, as trolls and bots adopt new ways to mask their real source. Video editing, manipulated images are much harder to detect, compared to textual disinformation. Platform companies are coming under increased pressure and scrutiny to respond. Some of them take action and removes such content. But even in best circumstances, it takes time during which harm already is done.

“Manipulated content” is when an aspect of genuine content is altered, relating most often to photos or videos. Visual media can be transformed through photo manipulation, commonly called “photoshopping”. Video manipulation targets digital video using a combination of traditional video processing and video editing techniques and auxiliary methods from artificial intelligence like face recognition.

Working principle (what and how does it do):

New techniques to modify images, audio, and video enable the creation of manipulated content. “Photoshopping” can make a product, person, or idea seem more appealing. It is done by highlighting certain features. Also, other techniques, such as framing (showing only part of the picture, taking it out of context) can be used to distort reality as well.

In typical video manipulation, the facial structure, body movements, and voice of the subject are replicated in order to create a fabricated recording of the subject. The applications of these methods range from educational videos to videos aimed at (mass) manipulation and propaganda, a straightforward extension of the long-standing possibilities of photo manipulation.


Checking method:

How to verify viral social media videos:

Other disinformation types:


Deepfake is an AI-based technology used to produce or alter video content by editing faces (face-swapping or creating new face expressions).


A hoax is a falsehood deliberately fabricated to masquerade as the truth. A common aspect that hoaxes have is that they are all meant to deceive or lie. For something…

Contact us

Phone: +370 525 97 247
This project is co-funded by the European Commission
under the preparatory action “Media Literacy for All 2018”.