The internet has always been a place where people can be anyone they want to be, but sometimes this can lead to a pretty big surprise.
Modern-day editing software and realistic motion capture enable people around the world to take on new online identities. The current trend of VTubers (Virtual Youtubers) has skyrocketed in recent years, demonstrating just how popular these online personalities can be. Not only do they allow their creators to have new online personas, but they also enable the streamer to hide their real identities from their viewers.
Adding to this trend is the fascinating and rather terrifying world of deepfakes. Unlike VTubers, whose images are based around the anime aesthetic, deepfakes enable the user to replace the faces of people in videos. Essentially, content creators can use machine learning to put another person’s face over their own.
It’s certainly a tantalizing prospect for many people and one that can lead to some rather bizarre stories. This is exactly what happened when a popular female motorcycle influencer was found to be a 50-year-old Japanese man.
Many of @azusagakuyuki’s fans had suspected that the influencer had been using editing software, but they had never been able to confirm it. The questions namely came when some eagle-eyed users had spotted a number of images that appeared to show reflections of the Twitter user’s real face.
However, it was only until a Japanese media company did some digging that the true identity of azusagakuyuki was unveiled. The video linked below shows the moment the female motorbike enthusiast was unveiled to be none other than a 50-year-old man.
During the interview, @azusagakuyuki told the media that nobody wants to see an “uncle”, so he turned himself into a “beautiful woman” in the hopes that his photos would be more popular. As of writing, the account has over 20K followers and it seems the recent unveiling has only made the influencer even more popular.
The Twitter user revealed that they had been using an app called FaceApp, which allows people to completely alter their face and gender when taking photos. It’s certainly a rather bizarre story and one that demonstrates just how easy it is to fake your own online identity.