Ocularcentrism and Deepfakes: Should Seeing Be Believing?Katrina GeddesArticle - Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
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Ocularcentrism and Deepfakes: Should Seeing Be Believing?
Katrina Geddes

  The full text of this Article may be found here.

31 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 1042 (2021).

Article by Katrina Geddes*




he pernicious effects of misinformation were starkly exposed on January 6, 2021, when a violent mob of protestors stormed the nation’s capital, fueled by false claims of election fraud. As policymakers wrestle with various proposals to curb misinformation online, this Article highlights one of the root causes of our vulnerability to misinformation, specifically, the epistemological prioritization of sight above all other senses (“ocularcentrism”). The increasing ubiquity of so-called “deepfakes”—hyperrealistic, digitally altered videos of events that never occurred—has further exposed the vulnerabilities of an ocularcentric society, in which technology-mediated sight is synonymous with knowledge. This Article traces the evolution of visual manipulation technologies that have exploited ocularcentrism and evaluates different means of addressing the issues raised by deepfakes, including the use of copyright law.

* J.S.D. Candidate, New York University, School of Law; Fellow, Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy, NYU Law; Fellow, Information Law Institute, NYU Law. For helpful comments and insights on this piece, I want to thank the ILI fellows, Professor Barton Beebe, Stefano Martiniani, and Felix Barber.