Anna Broinowski

BROINOWSKI, Anna (cropped)

Anna Broinowski is a Walkley Award-winning filmmaker and author who documents counter-cultural subjects. Her films include Aim High in Creation! (about North Korean cinema), Forbidden Lie$ (about hoax-author Norma Khouri) and Helen’s War (about nuclear campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott). She is the author of The Director is the Commander (2015) and Please Explain: The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Pauline Hanson (2017). 


The future is hackable

Non-fictionDeepfakes occupy the epicentre of an escalating tension between fact and belief in the digital media economy. Their rise coincides with the emergence of video as the preferred information format for the majority of consumers. The text-driven churn of Twitter now vies with the visual distractions of TikTok: recent studies indicate that users retain 95 per cent of audiovisual messaging and only 10 per cent of messaging read as text. In a post-truth arena already besieged by the comparative virality of fake stories over real ones, with public faith in ‘facts’ and ‘expertise’ eroding across the legal, political, academic and media spheres, deepfakes, in their five-year life span, have inspired dystopian prophesies that swerve from dread to moral panic. In 2019, US Congressman Adam Schiff warned deepfakes could ‘turn a world leader into a ventriloquist’s dummy’. Political researchers Cristian Vaccari and Andrew Chadwick concurred, asserting the ‘stakes are too high’ for deepfakes to be treated as ‘mere technological curiosities’. In the lead-up to the 2020 US election, computational scholars modelled seven credible deepfake scenarios that could undermine democracy.

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