A Russian Propaganda Network Is Promoting an AI-Manipulated Biden Video

Among the prominent accounts sharing the video was Russian Market, which has 330,000 followers, and is operated by Swiss social media personality Vadim Loskutov, who is known for praising Russia and criticizing the West. The video was also shared by Tara Reade, defected to Russia in 2023 in a bit for citzenship. Reid alsoaccused Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993.

The video, researchers tell WIRED, was also manipulated in a bid to avoid detection online. “Doppelganger operators trimmed the video at arbitrary points, so they are technically different in milliseconds and therefore are likely considered as distinct unique videos by abuse protection systems,” the Antibot4Navalny researchers tell WIRED.

“This one is unique in its ambiguity,” Fink said. “It’s maybe a known Russian band, but maybe not, maybe a deepfake, but maybe not, maybe has reference to other politicians but maybe not, In other words, it is a distinctly Soviet style of propaganda video. The ambiguity allows for multiple competing versions, which means hundreds or articles and arguments online, which leads to more people seeing it eventually.”

As the Kremlin ramps up its efforts to undermine the US election in November, it is increasingly clear that Russia is willing to utilize emerging AI technologies. A new report published this week from threat intelligence company Recorded Future highlighted this trend by revealing that a campaign, which has been linked to the Kremlin, has been using generative AI tools to push pro-Trump content on a network of fake websites.

The report details how the campaign, dubbed CopyCop, used the AI tools to scrape content from real news websites, repurpose the content with a right-wing bias, and republish the content on a network of fake websites with names like Red State Report and Patriotic Review that purport to be staffed by over a 1,000 journalists—all of whom are fake and have also been invented by AI.

The topics pushed by the campaign include errors made by Biden during speeches, Biden’s age, poll results that show a lead for Trump, and claims that Trump’s recent criminal conviction and trial was “impactless” and “a total mess.”

It is still unclear how much impact these sites are having, and a review by WIRED of social media platforms found very few links to the network of fake websites CopyCop has created. But what the CopyCop campaign has proved is that AI can supercharge the dissemination of disinformation. And experts say, this is likely just the first step in a broader strategy that will likely include networks like Doppelganger.

“Estimating the engagement with the websites themselves remains a difficult task,” Clément Briens, an analyst at Recorded Future tells WIRED. “The AI-generated content is likely not garnering attention at all. However, it serves the purpose of helping establish these websites as credible assets for when they publish targeted content like deepfakes [which are] amplified by established Russian or pro-Russian influence actors with existing following and audiences.”

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