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HomeAI/DeepfakeViral Video Of Cristiano Ronaldo Voicing Support For ‘Children Of Gaza’ Is...

Viral Video Of Cristiano Ronaldo Voicing Support For ‘Children Of Gaza’ Is Digitally Altered

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Cristiano Ronaldo extends his support to the children of Gaza.

Fact
Viral clip is edited, original video shows Ronaldo voicing his support for the children of Syria.

Several social media users are circulating a 24-second video message, purportedly showing Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo voicing his support for the “children of Gaza.”

“This is for the children of Gaza. We know you have been suffering a lot. I am a very famous player, but you are the true heroes. Don’t lose your hope, the world is with you. We care about you. I am with you,” Ronaldo allegedly says in the video.

The video has gone viral against the backdrop of the latest Israeli strikes that killed at least 45 Palestinians, including many children, in tents full of displaced people in Gaza’s Rafah, which have drawn widespread condemnation from several countries and human rights groups.

The archived version of the tweet can be seen here.

Fact Check

Newschecker first ran a keyword search for “Cristiano Ronaldo Gaza children video message”, which did not throw up any credible news reports of such a statement.

We noticed that the lip movements of Ronaldo were not completely in sync with the audio, especially around the “Gaza” part, further raising our doubts.

We then ran a reverse image search of keyframes, which led us to this Twitter post from Ronaldo, dated December 23, 2016, where the footballer, in a partnership with Save The Children US, is extending his support to the children affected by the conflict in Syria. The same video was uploaded on his official Facebook and Instagram accounts on December 23, 2016.

You can clearly see that the background had been changed and the audio edited to make it seem he said Gaza, instead of Syria, in the viral clip. News reports on Ronaldo’s video message of hope to the children of Syria can be seen here and here

Newschecker ran the audio past an AI detection tool, TrueMedia, which detected some evidence of AI manipulation.

We then ran the audio extract, stating “This is for children of Gaza”, past another AI detection tool, Hive Moderator, which stated that it is 99.9% likely to be AI generated.

Also Read: Deepfake Menace Strikes Again: After Alia Bhatt And Rashmika Mandanna, Kajol Falls Prey To AI Manipulation

Conclusion

Viral video of Cristiano Ronaldo extending support to the children of Gaza found to be AI manipulated.

Result: Altered Media

Sources
X post, Cristiano Ronaldo, December 23, 2016
Hive Moderator detection tool
TrueMedia detection tool


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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