misinformation, Ocularcentrism, Deepfakes, technology


The 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.