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Issue #44 – Real Fake

Menno van Doorn
December 28, 2021

On the 15th of October our book “Real Fake – Playing with Reality in the Age of AI, Deepfakes and the Metaverse” has been released. It is our take on synthetic media, deepfakes, fake news, conspiracy theories, memes, crypto, narrative economics, virtual humans, CGI influencers, vTubers, NFTs, DAOs, VR, Web 3.0, the Creator Economy and the Metaverse. Real Fake is about how humans continuously manipulate reality and how new digital technology tools enable us to go one step further in this ancient game.

The Web3 Renaissance: A Golden Age For Content

The internet was supposed to usher in a Golden Age of media—a world of infinite abundance where anyone can create whatever they want, and everyone can find whatever they’re interested in. But while Gates’ prediction that there was money to be made online through content has proven true, much of that money has bypassed the creators that produce the content, landing instead in the pockets of the platforms that aggregate it. […] The lack of payment infrastructure is the reason why so much of the internet is monetized via advertising. […] Meanwhile, a new generation of technologies is emerging with the promise to change the balance of power in the creator economy. If the pre-internet/web1 era favored publishers, and the web2 era favored the platforms, the next generation of innovations—collectively known as web3—is all about tilting the scales of power and ownership back toward creators and users.”

It’s a great vision, but will it ever become reality?

Web3’s Messy Vision Of A Tech Future

“This doesn’t mean that the central technology behind Web3 doesn’t have radical potential, or that — like the first dotcom boom — today’s speculative mania won’t seed the next important tech businesses. So far, though, advocates of the new technology still struggle with one overriding challenge: to come up with practical applications that can match the everyday aspirations of millions of users. Silicon Valley operates on the principle that if you throw enough engineering brainpower and capital at a problem, a better way will emerge. We’ll see. Web revolutions have been messy in the past. This one looks like it will be messier than most.”

Also read this thread.

Viral TikTok Shows Woman Breastfeeding Cat On A Plane

A Tik Tok parody video showing a woman breastfeeding a cat onboard a busy flight has gone viral. […] A thoroughly convincing hoax, the clip benefits from the fact it was filmed in the style of the candid air rage videos that have been doing the rounds over the past few years.”

TikTok Made Them Famous, Figuring Out What’s Next Is Tough

“What’s become clear is that the skill set that led to big-tent triumph on the app in 2019 and 2020 is, by and large, sized to the medium. Given more room to breathe in other formats, most of TikTok’s superstars are still figuring out how to create beyond the phone.

TikTok Is Opening 300 Restaurants

For die-hard foodies who love scrolling through cooking videos on social media, TikTok is serving up a new ghost kitchen restaurant concept based on its most viral food hits. […] The social media-themed restaurant’s menu will include meals made popular by users on the platform, including baked feta pasta, smash burgers, corn ribs, and pasta chips.

Virtual Guns in Videogames Could Soon Be Worth Real Money

More videogame makers are selling virtual guns, helmets and other gear in the form of NFTs, a move that is increasingly pushing the trendy digital deeds into the average household. Players have been paying for virtual goods in games like “Grand Theft Auto Online” and “World of Warcraft” for years, but turning those items into nonfungible tokens would let gamers trade and resell them, making them into potentially valuable assets.”

The Automatic Muse

One way to think about AI-based text-generation tools like OpenAI’s GPT-3 is as clairvoyants. They are mediums that bring the words of the past into the present in a new arrangement. GPT-3 is not creating text out of nothing, after all. It is drawing on a vast corpus of human expression and, through a quasi-mystical statistical procedure (no one can explain exactly what it is doing), synthesizing all those old words into something new, something intelligible to and requiring interpretation by its interlocutor. When we talk to GPT-3 we are, in a way, communing with the dead.”

Zepeto, The World’s Largest Virtual Fashion Show?

Zepeto is Asia’s biggest metaverse platform, with almost a quarter of a billion users. […] Some 70% of these people are women, some are young teenagers, which is unusual, as most rival metaverse platforms such as Roblox are dominated by gamers who tend to be male. […] And 90% of them are located outside South Korea, just like 28-year-old Monica, who lives in Canada, or 19-year-old Hannah who lives in the US. […] Fashion plays a huge role on this platform, where creators have sold over 1.6 billion virtual fashion items to date.”

To be honest, I’ve never heard of this platform before and it has already a quarter of a billion users. WTH?

TikTok Created Mass Panic About An Unfounded School Shooting

A hoax warning users on TikTok that December 17 would be a nationwide school shooting day went viral, enabled by the platform’s inconsistent moderation practices and news outlets’ sensationalized reporting. [..] Videos from December 17 circulating on TikTok show empty school classrooms and hallways, students being picked up early, and police officers patrolling campuses, demonstrating the real-world effects of a fear-based hoax.

How do you know if something is real or fake on TikTok?

MUST WATCH: TikTok’s School Shooting Challenge

Viral social media posts threaten school shootings

The New Get-Rich-Faster Job in Silicon Valley: Crypto Start-Ups

A wave of executives and engineers are leaving cushy jobs at Google, Amazon, Apple and other large tech companies — some of which pay millions of dollars in annual compensation — to chase what they see as a once-in-a-generation opportunity. That next big thing is crypto, they said, a catchall designation that includes digital currencies like Bitcoin and products like nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, that rely on the blockchain.”

MUST WATCH: How I Turned My 4-Year-Old’s Art Into an NFT

How I Turned My 4-Year-Old’s Art Into an NFT: Ethereum Blockchain Explained

MUST WATCH: Trapped In The Metaverse For 24 Hours

Trapped in the Metaverse: Here’s What 24 Hours in VR Feels Like | WSJ


Real Fake is a weekly newsletter in which SogetiLabs’s Research Institute VINT examines the future where synthetic reality becomes part or our objective reality. We investigate the impact of new technology on people, organisations and our society. If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us at

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About the author

Director and Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Menno is Director of the Sogeti Research Institute for the Analysis of New Technology (VINT). He mixes personal life experiences with the findings of the 19 years of research done at the VINT Research Institute. Menno has co-authored many books on the impact of new technology on business and society.


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