As AI technology continues to advance, it has become harder to distinguish deepfakes from the real thing, and several actors and influencers have already fallen victim to their likenesses being used without their permission.
This week, mega influencer and YouTuber Mr. Beast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, spoke out to his followers after scammers used a deep fake of him to promote an iPhone 15 giveaway that didn’t exist.
The influencer linked a video of the ad to his X profile, calling it a “serious problem” to his 24.2 million followers.
Lots of people are getting this deepfake scam ad of me… are social media platforms ready to handle the rise of AI deepfakes? This is a serious problem pic.twitter.com/llkhxswQSw
— MrBeast (@MrBeast) October 3, 2023
In the clip, the fake Mr. Beast tells followers that they could be “one of 10,000” fans eligible to win the new iPhone 15 for just $2. Donaldson is known for his elaborate giveaways and contests, which makes the concept all the more believable, but asking for money is something uncharacteristic of Donaldson’s platforms — he doesn’t ask followers to pay money to win giveaways.
His loyal fans quickly caught on and assured Donaldson that those familiar with his brand wouldn’t fall for the ploy, though younger or newer members of his audience might not be as lucky.
“That’s a pretty bad fake, people are falling for that,” one user questioned.
“Ok, this is getting scary,” another warned.
Mr. Beast did not clarify where he originally surfaced the ad or what account it was showing up on.
Earlier this week, actor Tom Hanks issued a warning to his millions of followers on Instagram about an advertisement that used AI technology to use his likeness in promoting a dental plan without his permission.
“I have nothing to do with it,” Hanks warned fans.