There are some celebrities you never see on TikTok on their own accounts and that's totally OK. Take Tom Cruise, for example, who is consistently in the public eye but still remains something a mystery because of his ties to Scientology and his lack of social media presence. So when users saw someone who appeared to be Tom Cruise on the app, they went a little wild at the idea of him being an active user.
It turned out to be nothing more than an extremely convincing deepfake of the actor, but it was still a big "WTF" moment for those who came across the videos. Deepfakes on TikTok are nothing new, but every time you see a new one, especially of an actor who you thought would never be on TikTok to begin with, it's hard not to get excited.
What's up with that deepfake of Tom Cruise on TikTok?
When deepfake videos started popping up all over the internet, so many people were confused about how realistic they seemed and questioned how it was possible to have such technology readily available. The Tom Cruise deepfakes are evidence of this phenomenon and, despite seeming to be the real guy, the TikTok videos on the account DeepTomCruise are just some truly convincing deepfakes, not the real actor.
The account itself, which once posted a handful of videos with Tom's likeness as the face of a guy talking and pretending to be him, has since removed all its videos. It's unclear if the owner of the account received some negative backlash, but it happened after tons of other TikTok users stitched the deepfakes, so they are still floating around the app.
Some people are still being fooled into thinking it's actually Tom, but rest assured, he is not on TikTok. Of course, there's the chance that Tom is on TikTok under an unknown account, enjoying the endless scroll like the rest of us. But as far as those Tom Cruise TikTok videos go, it's not him.
Deepfakes have a way of messing with the mind.
The technology behind deepfakes involves using the head or face of someone else and swapping it onto another body. It's like a much more sophisticated version of Snapchat filters that people are still wild about.
However, MIT Technology Review reported that deepfakes have been used for nefarious reasons too, like putting the face of an ex on the head of someone in a pornographic movie. And the company MyHeritage, which helps users locate their ancestors, uses the technology to animate old photos of their relatives. The jury is still out on how people feel about that.
What does Tom Cruise think of his deepfake doppelganger?
The fact that all of the original Tom Cruise deepfakes have been removed from the account on TikTok certainly seems a little suspect. It's possible that Tom or his people complained to the platform and demanded that the videos, though virtually harmless, be taken down.
He hasn't directly said anything about what he thinks of the deepfakes, but isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery?