A file picture of a woman typing on a laptop.
Scammers have used AI technology in a bid to dupe social media users Image by AP PHOTO

Scammers use AI to fake health endorsements

William Summers May 17, 2024

A video shows high-profile Australians promoting alternative health treatments.


False. The content has been faked with the use of AI technology.

A slew of high-profile Australians appear to promote alternative health treatments via video ads on social media.

But the videos are fake, with Artificial intelligence (AI) technology used to generate the content.

The videos generally use real clips of people speaking but replace the original dialogue with new words about an unrelated topic.

AAP FactCheck previously debunked similar videos that used clips of Australian business leaders to falsely suggest they were promoting questionable investment schemes.

Some of the health-related videos seen by AAP FactCheck feature Sky News Australia hosts purportedly introducing a segment about “breakthrough joints treatment”.

Screen shots of two of the offending posts
 AI has been used to change what the Sky News presenters actually said. 

The videos then feature banned naturopath Barbara O’Neill talking about a “natural joint formula” supposedly developed with the help of experts from Harvard University.

Prominent Australians, including filmmaker Bruce Beresford, former tennis star Margaret Court and author David Malouf, follow, spruiking the supposedly life-changing treatment.

But all of the audio is fabricated.

The biggest clue is that the mouth movements of the featured Australians do not move in time with their purported words.

The manipulated clip of David Malouf is from a 2014 interview at the Sydney Writers Festival. He makes no mention of medical treatments in the real interview.

The clip of Margaret Court has been taken from a 2019 sermon about Christianity in Perth.

The Bruce Beresford clip has been taken from a 2019 interview at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Another clue the voices are fake is that Ms Court and Mr Malouf appear to speak with English accents. In reality, both have an Australian accent.


Treat posts appearing to show well-known figures and celebrities promoting new products with caution if they include more than one of the following features:

* The people speak with unusual pauses, stilted speech patterns or inconsistent accents.

* Their mouth movements aren’t in time with their speech, or their facial expressions and movements don’t match their speech tone.

* The videos are low-resolution or stutter.

* The source and/or context of the video is unclear.

The Verdict

The claim a video shows high-profile Australians promoting alternative health treatments is false.

The videos are fake and have been created with the assistance of AI technology.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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