Police are investigating a “deepfake” audio mimicking London Mayor Sadiq Khan in which he seemingly says he wants Armistace Day moved.
Clips emerged on social media that used the London Mayor’s mannerisms and voice. In them, it plays down Remembrance Day and says it should be delayed a week.
The voice, which sounds similar to Khan, can be heard saying “I don’t give a flying s*** about the Remembrance weekend.” According to Sky News, it continues: “What’s important and paramount is the one million-man Palestinian march takes place on Saturday.”
This is a reference to the 1965 Million March, a civil rights protest in Washington DC attended by predominant people of colour. Meanwhile a large pro-Palestinian protest is expected to take place in London on Saturday.
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Another clip mimicking the London Mayor said: “I know we have Armistice Day on Saturday but why should Londoners cancel the Palestinian march on Saturday? Why don’t they have Remembrance weekend next weekend? What’s happening in Gaza is much bigger than this weekend and it’s current.”
The Metropolitan Police has now confirmed officers are investigating the “deepfake” audio clips. A spokesman told Sky: “We can confirm that we have been made aware of a video featuring artificial audio of the mayor, and that this is with specialist officers for assessment.”
Khan is not the first Labour politician to be targeted by a deepfake audio clip. A recording mimmicking Sir Keir Starmer was circulated earlier this year.
It led to fears about what impact technology could have on democracy.
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The protest this weekend has split opinion with Home Secretary Suella Braverman criticising the Metropolitan Police for letting it continue. Reports suggest Downing Street had asked her to tone down an article in The Times.
And an informal investigation was now underway as to why changes were not made. However, Rishi Sunak is still said to have confidence in Braverman.
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