- A BuzzFeed PSA seems to show former President Barack Obama saying disparaging things about President Donald Trump, but it's actually a PSA to show how easy it is to manipulate video and spread misinformation.
A new video released by BuzzFeed appears to show former President Barack Obama calling President Donald Trump "a total and complete dips--- " among other outlandish statements — but as with many things online, it's not what it seems.
(Warning: The video contains some language that viewers may find offensive.)
The video is not an actual recording of Obama. It's a highly edited video that digitally alters footage of Obama to make his mouth mimic a voice actor's movements. The audio of the speech was recorded by Oscar-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele.
The clip eventually shows a split screen of Obama and Peele, revealing the ruse.
"This is a dangerous time," Peele says, still impersonating Obama. "Moving forward we need to be more vigilant with what we trust from the internet. It's a time where we need to rely on trusted news sources."
Peele and BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti created the PSA to show how easy it is to manipulate videos, furthering the spread of misinformation and fake news. "You Won't Believe What Obama Says in this Video" was created using Adobe After Effects and FakeApp, an application that lets you "faceswap" videos. Peele, who has impersonated Obama before, wrote and performed his script.
BuzzFeed used about two minutes of Obama footage with Peele's mouth edited in and 10 minutes of real Obama footage. It ran FakeApp on the clip for a total of 60 hours to fine tune the video.
"We've [BuzzFeed] covered counterfeit news websites that say the Pope endorsed Trump that look kinda like real news but because it's text people have started to become more wary," Peretti wrote on BuzzFeed. "And now we're starting to see tech that allows people to put words into the mouths of public figures that look like they must be real because it's video and video doesn't lie!"
Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in BuzzFeed.