Deepfakes and the 2020 US elections: what (did not) happen

Publication/Creation Date
January 22 2021
Joao Paulo Meneses (creator)
Media Type
Journal Article
Persuasive Intent

Alarmed by the volume of disinformation that was assumed to have taken place during the 2016 US elections, scholars, politics and journalists predicted the worst when the first deepfakes began to emerge in 2018. After all, US Elections 2020 were believed to be the most secure in American history. This paper seeks explanations for an apparent contradiction: we believe that it was precisely the multiplication and conjugation of different types of warnings and fears that created the conditions that prevented malicious political deepfakes from affecting the 2020 US elections. From these warnings, we identified four factors (more active role of social networks, new laws, difficulties in accessing Artificial Intelligence and better awareness of society). But while this formula has proven to be effective in the case of the United States, 2020, it is not correct to assume that it can be repeated in other political contexts.
HCI Platform
Marketing Keywords
Facebook, Twitter, Google

Date archived
March 4 2021
Last edited
July 5 2021
How to cite this entry
Joao Paulo Meneses. (January 22 2021). "Deepfakes and the 2020 US elections: what (did not) happen". Social and Information Networks. Cornell University. Fabric of Digital Life.