(Zero Hedge) What will we do when the video clips we rely on for news are routinely and effortlessly faked – when it becomes nearly impossible to differentiate genuine statements from malicious imitations without a thorough investigation? Will you continue to believe every word uttered by US media organizations like CNN? Or will you slowly learn to question every piece of information you receive?

Barack Hussein Obama photo

Photo by Opus Penguin (CC)

We’ve reported in the past about studies showing how effortlessly even a novice hacker could learn to edit videos of people speaking to make it seem as if their words were coming out of the mouth of a famous celebrity like, say, former US President Barack Obama.

Last year, a paper by the Stanford lab of Matthias Niessner titled “Face2Face: Real-time Face Capture and Reenactment of RGB Videos” shows how disturbingly easy it is to take a surrogate actor and, in real time, using everyday available tools, create the illusion that someone else, notably someone famous or important, is speaking. Even more disturbing: one doesn’t need sophisticated equipment to create a “talking” clone – a commodity webcam and some software is all one needs to create the greatest of sensory manipulations.

And now, the Telegraph is reporting that a computer program has been created that can edit videos of people speaking to realistically make it look like they said something else, raising fears of clips being tampered with online…

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