Fake tits: doctored Tugendhat logo goes viral

A fake version of a logo for one of the candidates for the leadership of the Conservative Party has gone viral, which is vaguely amusing but also very troubling.

You know something in politics has gone genuinely viral when it reaches your non-political WhatsApp groups.

Whether it’s your family group, or the one you use to organise 5-a-side football, when political content reaches those domains you can be sure it’s tipped over into the mainstream.

That seems to be what has happened with a fake Tom Tugendhat logo where the original has been modified to make it seem like it says “tit”.

I believe this is where the fake originated as it’s the earliest tweet and the person posting seems to claim ownership in the thread:

In a threaded reply to the first tweet containing the defaced logo, the Mr B made clear it was a joke. However that fact has clearly been lost on many (potentially millions).

Here is a small selection of tweets which have had particularly high levels of engagement.

When you read the comments on Twitter (or the messages you get on WhatsApp) it’s clear many people believe it to be real.

For those in any doubt, this is the official / real Tom Tugendhat logo:

There is a very fine line between parody and disinformation and whilst this began as the former it certainly became the latter.

Many people will have seen the “tit” logo, believed it to be genuine and immediately thought less of someone who has the potential to be the UK’s Prime Minister by 5th September.

Whilst some may find the whole debacle hilarious, the problem emerges when a viewer is unclear whether a piece of election communication is real or not. And user-generated examples like this are very hard to police (if one was so inclined).

Deep fake technology being deployed in politics is something that has troubled me for some time, but this Tugendhat example could have been done in PowerPoint and is just as unsettling.

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