Ukrainian student’s identity cloned in China, portrayed as Russian

April 10,2024 766
Ukrainian student’s identity cloned in China, portrayed as Russian

In China, a duplicate of a Ukrainian student was fabricated, portrayed as a Russian endorsing Russian products and extolling Chinese culture, writes the Voice of America.

Twenty-year-old Olha Loiek discovered through her followers that her photograph was utilized to create an avatar in a video. The young woman, who manages a YouTube blog focused on mental health, was notified by her audience that her image appeared on Chinese social media platforms.

“There she is not Olha Loiek, but a Russian-speaking Chinese, loving China, and wanting to marry a Chinese. Her name is Natasha, Anna, or Grace, depending on the social media platform in China,” journalists write.

Currently, there is a trend of using stolen real photos on Chinese social media. In various video content, avatars discuss the strong relationship between Russia and China, commend Chinese history and culture, or speak about the desire of Russian women to marry Chinese men, according to the report.

“I started translating the videos using Google Translate and realized that most of these accounts talk about things like China, Russia, how good the relations between China and Russia are. It’s very offensive,” Olha said.

Olha says she would never say such things, as she is from Ukraine – a country that Russia is waging a full-scale war against. “This is probably used to make people, maybe people in China, feel that foreigners consider their country better,” the girl says. Journalists note that although companies mark the videos as ‘created by artificial intelligence,’ users often do not realize they are watching a product of an unreal person.

Olha, a Ukrainian, and her followers, filed complaints with Chinese social media firms, leading to the deletion of around a dozen accounts impersonating her. Presently, she is pursuing Cognitive Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Despite this unsettling experience, she remains committed to continuing her YouTube presence and blogging activities.

Cover: the Voice of America