A left-wing advocacy group used a Mark Zuckerberg deepfake to urge lawmakers to pass a tech regulation bill before the end of the year.
Demand Progress Action, which describes its mission as protecting the “democratic character of the internet,” used deepfake technology to have an actor appear and talk exactly like the Meta CEO. In the video, the fake Zuckerberg ironically “thanks” Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi for “holding up new laws that hold us accountable” while showing links of the two to tech companies being targeted by the bill. The video clarifies that the Zuckerberg speaking is fake from the outset and shows the actor side by side with the impostor at the end.
“So, I’d like to propose a toast. To Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Once again, you held up your side of the bargain by holding up new laws that would hold us accountable. Thank you for your service to me, and to all of my friends,” the deepfake says while showing images of other big tech CEOs.
The fake Zuckerberg also suggests Republicans will not do anything to hold Big Tech accountable once they take a House majority and expresses his gratitude that a new antitrust bill may fade away.
The purpose of the video is to push for the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and the Open App Markets Act, both of which target the market power of tech companies by providing “that certain discriminatory conduct by covered platforms shall be unlawful, and for other purposes,” and regulating app stores. Meta, Apple, Google, and Amazon have all pushed back on the bill.
“If Leader Schumer does not call a vote on these bills or attach them to a must-pass vehicle in the weeks ahead, he will have squandered Congress’s best chance to hold Big Tech accountable in a generation,” Demand Progress Action Executive Director David Segal said in a statement obtained by the Hill.
Despite the suggestion that Schumer will not call a vote on the bill due to his apparent Amazon connections, the Senate majority leader said in August that he would call the bipartisan bill to a vote, though he didn’t say when.