Fakes of famous people began to appear in the Clubhouse

On February 17, Alla Pugacheva’s account even appeared in the application, but it soon became clear that the singer did not start a profile in this community.

“Pugacheva” for about an hour answered the listeners’ questions “Talk only about the moderators!”, Sang the song “Call me with you”, and when asked with whom she would like to record a joint song she answered that with Svetlana Loboda.

Fragment of audio recording of a conversation with “Pugacheva”

Later, it became known that Alla Pugacheva’s account in the Clubhouse network turned out to be fake. This was confirmed by Maxim Galkin and the concert director of the singer Elena Chuprakova.

Meetings with fake people take place all over the world. For example, on February 16, Forbes reported that one of its users, who signed up as Brad Pitt, created a “room” called “Climate Reduction”, which brought together more than 3 thousand members. A few hours later, the fake “Brad Pitt” confessed that he was in fact a photographer and not a famous artist. Then the network administrators canceled his registration.

What is Clubhouse

The Clubhouse network was established in early 2020. Communication in it takes place in the thematic virtual rooms created for this. Communication between users is carried out verbally. The conversation cannot be recorded or listened to later.

To register in the network, you must have an invitation from one of the existing Clubhouse users. You can only connect to the Clubhouse using the iOS app. The popularity of products with this platform among public people creates an appropriate atmosphere around the Clubhouse. In January of this year, the site attracted $85 million in investments, and the company was estimated at $1.4 billion.

According to the rules of the social network, users are prohibited from recording a conversation without the written consent of all the users involved in it (let someone try to get such consent from several thousand participants); share information that speakers have marked off the record (not under the record, not for citation); violate any local, state, national or international law; impersonate an individual or legal entity that is not; collect email addresses or other contact information of network users, etc. Accounts of violators of the rules are deleted.

Why fakes on social networks are dangerous

According to Ekaterina Tyagai, partner of the Pen & Paper Bar Association, if the Clubhouse does not take countermeasures, then any person will be unprotected from the unlawful use of his personal data. She explains that the name of a citizen refers to personal data, access to which is protected by law, and if false information is disseminated on behalf of the user, he has the right to demand from the social network to block the fake account.

According to Andrey Busargin, Deputy General Director of Group-IB for Protection from Digital Risks, many users believe the information that public figures post on the Internet. And since a “double” can register in the Clubhouse (it is easy to fake a voice, refer to poor health, microphone malfunction, etc.), the consequences can be very serious. Financially motivated fraudsters masquerading as public figures pose a particular threat, Busargin explains.

Roman Yankovskiy, partner of the IP / IT practice at Tomashevskaya & Partners law firm, believes that it will not be easy to bring fraudsters to justice. Clubhouse assumes voice communication, while Russian legislation provides for liability for the illegal use of a person’s image (photographs and videos with him), but it does not apply to voice. Even if defamatory information is disseminated by voice, which is punishable, it will not be easy to collect legally significant evidence of the Clubhouse user’s guilt, since conversations are not recorded.

How to avoid spreading false information online

In Russia, Roskomnadzor is in charge of enforcing social media laws. So far, the Russian authorities have very limited opportunities to influence Clubhouse, since this company does not have a representative office in the country.

In December 2020, amendments were made to the law “On information, information technologies and information protection”, which actually imposed on the network owners the obligation to prevent the spread of false information in them, Ekaterina Tyagai recalled. But the social network bears responsibility for the dissemination of illegal information only if it is proved that it knew about its existence, and it is almost impossible to prove that at the time of the creation of the fake account the administration knew about the substitution of identity, Tyagai says.

A way to combat fakes for Clubhouse could be to tag the verified account and enable application-level identification that protects against voice forgery using voice biometrics technologies. To obtain such a label, the social network can oblige the user to leave a “voice cast”, and at the level of the application itself create voice biometrics, which will determine that the speaker corresponds to the digital impression and the voice is not played from a laptop or a voice recorder, believes the head of the machine learning department of the Center for Artificial Intelligence MTS Nikita Semenov.

Based on materials from RBC.

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