Video of BBC presenter introducing new investment project by Elon Musk is a deepfake

By: Ankita Kulkarni
October 6 2023

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Video of BBC presenter introducing new investment project by Elon Musk is a deepfake


The Verdict False

The digitally altered video of a BBC news broadcast is a deepfake created to promote a fake investment project.

Claim ID f4f1f450

What is the claim?

A video circulating on Facebook (archive here) appears to show BBC news anchor Sally Bundock introducing an alleged new investment project by Tesla CEO Elon Musk that will mean "all the British residents no longer need to work" and "each individual can earn up to £5,700 a day." Bundock introduces Musk as a guest who appears via video call to give more details about the project.

The video is also being shared by numerous other users on Facebook (archive here) with the caption, "Our platform allows you to improve your financial situation with minimal actions and time costs." Other archived versions of this claim can be viewed here and here.  

Screenshot of post circulating online. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts) 

However, Logically Facts has determined that the video is a deep fake created using Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Elon Musk has not introduced any such new investment projects for British residents. 

What are the facts?

The social media posts carrying this video included links to different websites, all of which were clickbait, with no actual information about the project.

We traced the original video of the BBC presenter to a news broadcast uploaded on the official BBC News YouTube channel on April 12, 2023. The caption states, "Elon Musk tells BBC about 'painful' Twitter takeover in exclusive interview - BBC News." We can identify the same anchor, Sally Bundock, wearing the clothes seen in the viral video. The video broadcasts Musk's first interview following his official takeover of the social media platform Twitter, now called X. We can observe that during the interview, Musk is in a different attire and not the one seen in the viral video. He is also seated at a table across from a journalist, not addressing the camera directly as in the viral video.

Comparison between the viral video and the BBC news video report. (Source: Facebook/YouTube)

In the viral video, Musk and Bundock's lip movements do not entirely match up with the audio, which suggests that the footage was digitally manipulated. In the original video, they match what she is saying.

Meanwhile, the clip of Elon Musk speaking to the camera is from a separate interview he gave to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on May 24, 2023. This interview was uploaded to WSJ's YouTube channel titled, "'Tesla AI Is Actually Very Advanced:' Elon Musk on AI, China, Twitter and More | WSJ." He discusses various topics, like "SpaceX's Mars mission, AI's role in the future of society, and plans for his eventual successor while laying out his ideas of what Twitter should be and the role the platform plays in politics," as per the video's description. He did not mention any such investment project as alleged in the post.

Comparison between the viral video and the WSJ news report. (Source: Facebook/YouTube)

A spokesperson for the BBC confirmed to Logically Facts that the video is fake and has been edited using AI. In a BBC article addressing the video, presenter Sally Bundock says, "A deepfake video of me, in the BBC News studio, apparently presenting a 'breaking business news' story has been swirling around social media. It looks like me, it sounds like me, it is quite convincing, but it is not me." She added that the content of the video "sounds too good to be true, and that is the key, it is too good to be true. It is a scam."

Logically Facts has previously debunked a similar deepfake video of Musk that claimed to promote the trading platform Quantum AI, which can be found here. We have also previously published a detailed article on detecting AI-generated images and video. You can read it here.

The verdict 

A deepfake video has been used to promote a false investment from Elon Musk. The video is created using AI, and the original audio does not promise or discuss any such schemes. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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