Lesson Plan: The Potential Impact of Manipulated and "Deepfake" Videos

Video Manipulation and "Deepfake" Videos

University of Colorado-Denver’s Jeff Smith discusses the creation and distribution of “deepfake” and manipulated videos.


Manipulated and "deepfake" videos are videos that are altered and edited to make individuals appear to say things or act in ways that did not occur. This lesson explores the technology behind these videos, has students view examples of these videos and engages the class in a discussion about the potential impacts of these altered videos.



    Begin class by showing the following video clip that introduces the idea of manipulated and "deepfake" videos. Have the students either answer the associated questions individually or discuss as a class afterwards. Students can use the handout linked below to answer these questions and take notes throughout the lesson.

    HANDOUT: Manipulated and "Deepfake" Videos (Google Doc)

  • VIDEO CLIP: Video Manipulation and "Deepfake" Videos (6:33)

    • What is meant by "deepfake" videos? How are they created?

    • What can manipulated videos be used for?

    • Describe the difficulty in creating these videos.

    • How did Mr. Smith create the video shown in the example?

    • What are current limitations to "deepfake" technology? How can these be overcome?

    After discussing the questions with the class and ensuring that students have a basic understanding of how these videos are developed, have the students view the following examples. For each example, students should answer the following questions.

    • How was this video altered? What could be the possible uses of this type of alteration?

    • What evidence might help viewers identify this as an altered video?

    • How effective was this altered video?

    Using the chart on the handout (Google Doc) or the guiding questions listed below, have the students determine what the potential impacts of these "deepfake" video are by viewing the video clips below. Students can also use the questions associated with the clips to guide their viewing.

  • VIDEO CLIP: Sen. Rubio (R-FL) on Disinformation and Manipulated Videos (4:50)

    • How are "deepfakes" similar to the special effects used in movies and television?

    • According to Sen. Rubio, how does the speed of spreading information affect the overall impact of fake videos?

    • How can these "deepfake" videos potentially affect individuals?

    • What is the potential impact of these video on businesses?

    • Explain the potential impact of these videos on politics.
  • VIDEO CLIP: Rep. Schiff (D-CA) on "Deepfake" and Manipulated Videos (4:09)

    • How can these videos be used by foreign countries? What are potential impacts of this?

    • What are possible technological solutions to this issue?

    • What does Rep. Schiff recommend for consumers? What are possible drawbacks of this?

    To summarize what the students have learned, have them either address the following prompt as an exit slip or through a class discussion.

    • What could be the consequences of manipulated and "deepfake" videos? What, if anything, should be done to address this issue?

    Viewing Guide- Develop a guide for other students to help identify altered and faked videos. List tips and suggestions to help viewers determine between authentic videos and those that have been altered.

    "Deepfake" Video Current Events- Find a current event article relating to "deepfake" videos. After reading the articles provide the following information:

    • Citation of the article

    • Summary of the article

    • How does this articles relate to the information address in the lesson?

    • What is your reaction to this current event?

    • How can raising awareness of "deepfake" and manipulated videos diminish the impact of authentic videos?

    • Based on Rep. Schiff's comments, compare the technological and societal changes that occurred with the advent of the printing press to that of advances in computing technology.

    • How should lawmakers address the growing threat of "deepfake" and manipulated videos? Support your response with evidence from the lesson.

Additional Resources


  • "deepfake" Videos
  • Disinformation
  • Face Swapping
  • Nefarious
  • Source Code
  • Voice Actor


Science & Technology


Middle SchoolHigh SchoolUniversity