AI ‘Tom Cruise’ joins fake news barrage targeting Olympics
In a dramatic voiceover interspersed with footage of International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach, Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise warns that “corrupt officials” are “slowly and painfully destroying the Olympic sports that have existed for thousands of years.”
The bizarre revelation comes as part of a purported four-part Netflix documentary series, “Olympics Has Fallen,” alleging corruption at the heart of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Just one big problem: The entire thing is fake.
No such Netflix documentary series exists, and Cruise’s voice has been generated using artificial intelligence. The slickly edited nine-minute episodes are part of what the IOC on Thursday called an “organised disinformation campaign” against it.
“The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recently been faced with a number of fake news posts targeting the IOC,” the Olympic body’s statement reads, including “an entire documentary produced with defamatory content, a fake narrative and false information, using an AI-generated voice of a world-renowned Hollywood actor.”
A more recent video from October 18 depicts a fake news report from a French broadcaster in which an Olympics spokesman discusses banning Israeli and Palestinian athletes from the Paris Olympics in 2024.
The video was uploaded to a Telegram channel dominated by Russian-language content with more than 400,000 subscribers.
Although the fake documentary episodes were removed from YouTube at the IOC’s behest, they can also still be found on Telegram.
The appearance of the fake news report online came shortly after the IOC’s suspension of Russia’s National Olympic Committee over its decision to recognize regional sports organizations in the occupied regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine as its members.
Last month, the IOC announced it will only allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete at the Paris Olympics in 2024 if they do so under a neutral flag.
Russia has complained about its treatment by the IOC, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov calling the decision to allow Israeli athletes to compete, despite their country also being at war, “outrageous.”
The IOC did not point fingers at anyone for the videos but said in its statement that it “will continue to monitor the situation and will take action where appropriate and necessary.”
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