Memers are making deepfakes, and things are getting weird

The rapidly increasing accessibility of the technology raises new concerns about its abuse. Grace Windheim had heard of deepfakes before. But she had never considered how to make one.

Within a day, she had created a step-by-step YouTube tutorial to walk others through the process. “Making one of these deepfakes and overlaying audio is not as complicated as you may think,” she says in the video, published on August 4. It has since been viewed over 360,000 times.

Windheim is part of a new group of online creators who are toying with deepfakes as the technology grows increasingly accessible and seeps into internet culture. The phenomenon is not surprising; media manipulation tools have often gained traction through play and parody. But it also raises fresh concerns about its potential for abuse.