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How popular Twitter, Facebook accounts shared deepfakes to campaign for Nigerian presidential candidate

Claim: A viral video shows international Hollywood actors holding placards that display support for the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

The video is edited. A deep fake software was used to alter the original video to create the false information. None of the actors’ videos was made for Mr Obi.

Full Text

It began with Idris Elba, a popular British actor laughing with Matthew McConaughey – a 53-year-old American actor – who held a placard. On it was a statement that reads, “Yes, it makes sense. Vote Peter Obi in 2023 🇳🇬.”

A screenshot showing the description.

For the next 1 minute 53 seconds, the stage was shared between different international actors like Tom Cruise, Doug Liman, Gerard Butler, and 50 Cent. All held the same board with the inscription.

As Nigeria prepares for its Presidential election on February 25, 2023, a video showing popular international movie actors campaigning for Peter Obi – the Labour Party’s flag bearer – naturally ruffles more feathers as it portrays an international endorsement for the party, widely considered a political underdog at the poll.

However, the placard’s texture raises questions. Also, the actors’ words were silenced as only sounds played from the video. It seems glaring that the footage was altered.

But two notable persons shared the video via their verified social media accounts to their large followers with captions that denoted their political allegiance. 

Charles Oputa, known as Charly Boy, is racking up more than 247,000 views on Twitter with the video he tweeted on November 21, which also gained more than 14,800 reactions, 7,082 retweets, and 1,222 comments.

The veteran singer wrote, “Impressive. Peter Obi’s campaign has taken on a global outlook with leading American TV and Hollywood actors driving the campaign.”

Screenshot of the video on Charly Boy’s Twitter account.

Mike Asukwo, a veteran cartoonist, also shared the video on his verified Facebook account today with the caption, “I just want to be proud of my country again.” As of press time, the video has gained more than 5,600 views, 171 comments and  515 reactions. 197 accounts have also shared it.

Screenshot of the video on Asukwo’s Facebook page.

An account with the username, Lu Benson, prayed in pidgin that the dream [Obi’s victory] should come true because Nigerians have endured enough.

He said, “God abeg make this dream a reality. We’ve suffered a lot nah.”

Another account, Awele Ideal, expressed her interest in the video and requested that it be sent to her.

Screenshot of different comments on the Facebook post.

The same video gained trends on Tiktok too.

An account with the handle, @@sheks_bibi, shared the video with the caption, “Peter Obi for President 2023 #peterobi #2023election #vote.”

As of press time, the video has gained 5,489 likes, 383 comments and 1,953 shares.

Screenshot of the video on Tiktok.

The comments on the posts showed that people believed the footage to be valid. This made DUBAWA run a fact-check to verify.

The true story

DUBAWA ran a manual check on the video and found a YouTube handle, Eva Luca, who uploaded a replica of the video 3 months ago. The difference is the inscription on the placard. It reads, “Your text, photo or logo here,” meaning it can be edited.

Screenshot of the edited video

About 39 actors were listed in the video that was uploaded on July 23, which included the previously mentioned. 

Screenshot of the names in the video.

The footage also showed how users could alter the video collections available.

Screenshot of the editing guide.

Attempts to uncover the particular tool used for the video editing were unsuccessful, though there are diverse apps that can be used for the purpose.

Where the videos came from

DUBAWA discovered the videos separately in their original formats through further findings. They were all obtained from a YouTube channel owned by WIRED, an American magazine that “illuminates how technology affects every aspect of life–from culture to business, science to design,” according to the website description.

The channel runs a programme called the Autocomplete Interview, where popular American entertainers are brought to the channel to answer the web’s most searched questions about them displayed on a placard.

Screenshot of the Autocomplete Interview videos.

For comparison, we obtained screenshots of Terry Crews, a famous American actor and television host, from the three situations available.

Screenshot of Terry Crews on the original WIRED video.

Screenshot of Terry Crews on the Youtube video.
Screenshot of Terry Crews in Obi’s altered video.


The videos, though shared by verified accounts of prominent persons, were altered to promote a false narrative. The actors in the original videos did not endorse Peter Obi.

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