Status: 21/09/2023, 19:02 p.m.
By: Rudolf Ogiermann
Investment tips from Christian Sievers in the "heute journal"? No, a post circulated with his face and voice is fake. Here is the "real" ZDF anchorman. © Jana Kay
You can't believe your eyes and ears. Could it be that "heute journal" presenter Christian Sievers advertises an obscure investment in the ZDF news program? No! The clip, which was distributed via Facebook, is fake news generated with artificial intelligence (AI).
Wars, crises, catastrophes – this is usually how the news on television begins. For this reason alone, this article should stand out. "heute journal" anchorman Christian Sievers talks about an "investment platform that is already available to millions of citizens and helps them earn large sums of money with minimal investment". No doubt, it's his face, and it's also his text, at least in the first sentence about artificial intelligence (AI). It comes from a broadcast on April 30 of this year, which was actually about AI. The rest is a fake.
The spot, which has been circulating on various social networks for a few days now, advertises a kind of digital Ponzi scheme in which 250 euros can allegedly be turned into 15,000 euros and more. A supposed clip shows "Robert and Susanne", who, it is said, lost "all their savings and valuables" in a fire and could now look forward to 32,000 euros. Their identities are also fake, it is a couple from Great Britain celebrating their lottery win. At the end of the article, reference is made to a link that leads to "further information".
ZDF has since requested deletion
"The guy looks like me, sounds (almost) like me. But it's not me" – with these words, the real Christian Sievers posted the AI-produced, almost two-minute clip on X (formerly Twitter). And: "Bad new world", to which Facebook only reacts with a "shrug of the shoulders". Horror also in the comments. "Unbelievable, really," writes one user: "It scares me. So far, I have still been able to rely on my senses. And now?" When it comes to "general media literacy, enough [people] fall for it and then squawk: 'The state radio broadcasts false investment recommendations,'" fears X user Philipp Hüwe. And Daniel Mack calls for "crystal clear legislation on this". After all, ZDF has reacted in the meantime. "The deletion of the fake video has been requested from the platform operators," a spokesman said yesterday at the request of our newspaper.