French far-right leader urges action on deepfakes mimicking Le Pens

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French far-right leader urges action on deepfakes mimicking Le Pens
Marine Le Pen (R) and RN President and electoral list leader Jordan Bardella. Photo: CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP.

The president of France's far-right National Rally called Saturday for regulation of deepfakes after bogus TikTok videos purported to show members of the party's founding Le Pen family ahead of EU elections.


The fake TikTok profiles of purported influencers were made to look like young female relatives of Marine Le Pen, the RN party's figurehead, promoting the far right.

They appeared to have been created using the facial features of Le Pen and her niece, Marion Marechal, who is also a far-right politician.

Jordan Bardella, RN president and candidate for the European elections, said the party was not behind the accounts.

"I call on the public authorities to be aware of this phenomenon and perhaps to think about legislation that might enable us to protect democratic debate from the proliferation of these deepfakes," he said.

The elections in June will see more than 400 million eligible voters from 27 European Union countries pick 720 European Parliament members.

Bardella warned fake news could harm elections and democracy, speaking on the sidelines of a trip to the southwestern region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.


He did not comment when asked whether the party would file a formal complaint about the videos.

"We will see what action we will take on this malicious use," he said, stressing that there are "many, many" deepfakes of this type.


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