The Rise of Convincing Fake Profiles Online

One of the students affiliated with the University of Birmingham named Oliver Taylor is an unassuming individual. He has a little stubble, brown eyes and a peculiar little stiff smile, making you feel that he is feeling somewhat uncomfortable in your presence.

The Unassuming Activist

This ordinary student is a lover of politics and a big coffee junkie, according to the profiles that he has put online. In the same profiles, it is mentioned that he was raised according to the traditional Jewish beliefs. His resume mentions over six different freelance editorials and different blog posts. All of these showcase the fact that he is an active activist in the anti-semitist and Jewish category. He even has some articles published in important papers, such as the Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post. Well, all of this sounds quite nice, so what is the problem? What is the actual point of this very article? Well, Oliver Taylor is, after all, a prank. He is an elaborate work of fiction, made up by somebody for personal gain.

Who Is Oliver Taylor?

According to his stated university, there is no physical or digital record of Oliver Taylor. He does not have an online footprint, which is definitely a bad sign in the age of social media. He has an account on Quora, a well-known site for questions and answers, but he was only active over there for a couple of days. A couple of newspapers have tried, but did not succeed to confirm his identity. Experts have analyzed his profile and there is only one valid conclusion: Oliver Taylor is a deepfake.

The problem with deepfakes is that these profiles generally have a purpose. There is no way to put a face behind these profiles and we will never know what the intentions of the person behind Oliver Taylor are. We can only hope that these will decrease as deepfake-detecting technologies increase.