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Altered video of Trump, Sinema goes viral

A video supposedly shows former President Donald Trump and Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema together at a campaign speech, but that didn’t happen. Let’s look at the facts.

A tweet reads “BREAKING: After teaming up with Mitch McConnell today in Louisville to give a speech on Bipartisanship, Kyrsten Sinema introduces Donald Trump.” The News Literacy Project added a label that says, “DOCTORED COMPOSITE VIDEO.”
This is not an authentic video of Sinema and Trump.
This is a digitally altered video based on footage of Trump with a supporter from a 2015 campaign rally and a clip of Sinema’s acceptance speech from November 2018.
This video was created by a content creator known for fabricated hoax photos and videos.

NewsLit takeaway

On Sept. 26, Sinema gave a speech at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, which is named for Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Sinema trended on social media after clips from her speech went viral. A meme account known for posting political parody and digital fabrications called @paullahticks capitalized on the buzz by creating and sharing a doctored video that showed Sinema saying “we can work with people different than us” as Trump celebrated behind her.

The misleading video altered footage from a 2015 campaign event in which Trump brought a supporter on stage who held up a copy of a People magazine issue featuring Trump on the cover. Sinema’s face and audio — which were taken from video of her 2018 acceptance speech — were digitally added.

There are several ways to tell the video is a fake. Sinema’s head doesn’t appear to be the right size for her body. Her hair disappears behind her shoulders and her shirt and neck are artificially smooth. There also are no news stories about Trump and Sinema sharing a stage at a recent campaign event.

The video racked up tens of thousands of views. On social media, some users acknowledged the video was fake but argued it might as well be true because it captured something that they envision could happen. This kind of rationalization for misinformation is a red flag.

Note: This doctored video doesn't fit the typical definition of a “deepfake." It is important to note that the term refers to a specific type of media manipulation that involves the use of artificial intelligence. Sinema’s head in the doctored video appears to just have been copied and pasted from one video to another.

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