Tom Cruise Deepfakes Go Viral on TikTok

Tom Cruise Deepfakes Go Viral on TikTok

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What is it with deepfake creators and Tom Cruise? 

A couple of years ago, a Slovakian artist made a deepfake video of Bill Hader transforming into Cruise while on David Letterman’s show. And last week, a TikTok user named @deeptomcruise posted a few realistic deepfakes of the actor. 

  • In one clip, deepTom wants to show everyone a clip of him “playing some sports” and proceeds to swing a golf club. 
  • In another, he stumbles while inside what looks like an LA men’s fashion store and then gives his best Mikhail Gorbachev impression.
  • As of this morning, @deeptomcruise had over 346,000 followers and 1 million likes. 

Big picture

The technology behind deepfakes is a genuinely new creative content tool for Hollywood, tech companies, and game makers. But since it’s widely available, the tech can also be used deceptively. 

Platforms could use terms of service to target the non-consensual distribution of deepfakes, while governments could use legislation. But enforcement will require automated detection methods to keep pace with creative tools.