• Deepfake-1


A Book by Graham Meikle, published by Polity

What happens when we can no longer believe what we see? Show the AI technologies that create deepfakes enough images of a celebrity or a politician and they will generate a convincing video in which that person appears to say and do things they have never actually said or done. The result is a media environment in which anyone’s face and image can be remixed and manipulated.

Graham Meikle explains how deepfakes (synthetic media) are made and used. From celebrity porn and political satire to movie mash-ups and disinformation campaigns, this book explores themes of trust and consent as face-swapping software becomes more common. Meikle argues that deepfake videos allow for a new perspective on the taken-for-granted nature of contemporary media, in which our capacity to remix and share content increasingly conflicts with our capacity to trust. The book analyses how such videos deepen the social media environment in which the public and the personal converge, and in which all human experience becomes data to be shared.

Timely, clear, and accessibly written, this is an essential text for students and scholars of media, communication, cultural studies, and sociology as well as general readers.



‘If you want to understand the rapidly changing world of deepfakes, this is the place to start. Meikle shows how synthetic media emerge from social media, and he elegantly traces the ways in which they are embedded in complex dynamics of power, representation, and manipulation.’
Kate Crawford, author of Atlas of AI

Deepfakes is an astute and accessible examination of the challenges and opportunities presented by synthetic media, providing a vital roadmap to answer the big question these technologies provoke: can we really trust what we see with our own eyes online?’
Tama Leaver, Curtin University


Image: Polity – Taken from book cover

Graham Meikle


Graham Meikle is Professor of Communication and Digital Media. His most recent books are The Internet of Things (with Mercedes Bunz, 2017) and The Routledge Companion to Media and Activism (editor, 2018). He is also the author of Social Media (2016), Media Convergence (with Sherman Young, 2012), Interpreting News (2009) and Future Active (2002), and co-editor of News Online (2011). Since joining Westminster in 2013, he has launched its BA in Digital Media and Communication, and its MA in Social Media, Culture and Society. Graham is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and teaches core undergraduate and Master's modules every year. Before Westminster, Graham was a senior lecturer at the University of Stirling in Scotland (2007-13) and Macquarie University in Sydney (1999-2007). He has a PhD in Media & Communication, and a Master’s in Media, Technology & Law, both from Macquarie University. Graham also has an MA (Hons) in English Literature from Edinburgh University. In a past life, he taught English in Japan, Ecuador, Spain and Australia. Graham welcomes enquiries from prospective postgraduates about supervising doctoral research projects on cultural aspects of the internet.


26 October 2022
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