Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, distanced himself from yet another phoney film pushing a cryptocurrency hoax.
The video in question was a deepfake of Musk reportedly advertising a cryptocurrency platform with 30% returns on cryptocurrency deposits, which was originally shared on Twitter. Original footage from a TED Talk featuring Musk and curator Chris Anderson from the TED conference in Vancouver in April this year was used by con artists.
Musk was piqued by the tweet and video, and has been more engaged on social media since his $44 billion purchase of the social media network. In his trademark comedic flair, the Tesla CEO and SpaceX creator responded to the video:
Musk’s worldwide reputation as a technology pioneer has made him a popular target for con artists aiming to prey on unwary social media users and investors. Scams promising unrealistic returns on investment may deceive less tech-savvy users.
In 2020 and 2021, cryptocurrency scams abound, with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimating that over $80 million in bitcoin was stolen from unwary victims over a six-month period.
Because of Elon Musk’s interest in cryptocurrencies and his pro-Dogecoin stance, phoney YouTube live streaming became a popular weapon. Musk’s now-famous performance on Saturday Night Live proved to be a gold mine for scammers, with the Federal Trade Commission focusing on fake addresses that received 9.7 million Dogecoin worth $5 million in May of last year.
Pledge by Elon Musk to eliminate an increasing amount of spam and scam bots
Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter has been accompanied by vows to support free expression on the network, as well as a pledge by the Tesla CEO to eliminate an increasing amount of spam and scam bots that have defrauded users of millions of dollars in recent years during a Ted talk earlier this year:
“Getting rid of spam and fraud bots, as well as the bot armies on Twitter, would be a key priority for me.” They significantly degrade the product. We would have 100 billion Dogecoin if I had a Dogecoin for every crypto fraud I saw.”
Since the word was coined in 2017, deepfake videos have been popular. Creators employ artificial intelligence and computer-generated images, video, and audio to influence, confuse, or swindle audiences with material that is frequently so lifelike that it’s difficult to tell the difference between fact and fiction.
Deepfake and fake news have been dubbed “deepfake” and “fake news,” respectively. However, fake news continues to abound on social media platforms.