Down the Discreditation Rabbit Hole

Down the Discreditation Rabbit Hole

Over the past few days an elaborate new on-line narrative has been gaining traction. It proposes that the death of George Floyd was a staged incident. Another claim is that Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who arrested George Floyd is not the person currently in police custody and that the police officer seen in the images is, rather, the actor Benjamin Ray Bailey.

Derek Chauvin vs. Benjamin Ray Bailey
Image 1: Sample content misidentifying Derek Chauvin as the actor Benjamin Ray Bailey

One likely explanation for why this story is being circulated is that it’s part of a disinformation campaign similar to those of the  Eric Ciaramella misidentification, Ilhan Omar at an Antifa riot, and Need a Nazi for a project.

Derek Chauvin vs. Benjamin Bailey
Image 2: The results of various video analytics on the images of Derek Chauvin and Benjamin Ray Bailey

Regardless of the rationale behind this publication, O fellow fish citizens: beware of the bait! Hopefully the following conclusive results will put this little conspiracy to rest. 

  1. The Person of Interest 1 F (POI-1 F) identified as Derek Chauvin in the police booking images matched within 99% certainty the image of the uniformed police officer seen in the video kneeling on George Floyd.
  2. POI-1 F matched within 99% certainty the image of POI-2 identified as Derek Chauvin in the police booking images. 
  3. The ear geometry of POI-1 S identified in the police booking images as Derek Chauvin matched the officer in uniform seen kneeling on George Floyd within 97% certainty. 
  4. The height of the officer seen kneeling on George Floyd is ~ 5’-9”.  This did not match the height of Benjamin Ray Bailey who is ~ 6’-6”.
  5. Benjamin Bailey’s image did not match the image of the officer in uniform seen kneeling on George Floyd.
  6. The ear geometry of Benjamin Bailey (OOI-2) did not match the ear geometry of OOI-1 in the image of POI-1 S identified in the police booking images as Derek Chauvin. 

Note on Image Sourcing:
All Derek Chauvin’s images were acquired from the following primary sources. All images were tested for deepfake content and post editing.

  1. Booking photos taken on on May 29, 2020, at the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office
  2. Booking photos taken on May 30, 2020, at the Hennepin County Jail
  3. Booking photos taken on May 31, 2020, at the Oak Park Minnesota Correctional Facility
  4. Minnesota beauty pageant competition footage recorded on June 23, 2018

What is a Discreditation Operation?
Information discreditation is a form of character assassination and black propaganda. It entails the deliberate production and publication of information that is either completely or partially false and the distribution of such misinformation on various on-line or print platforms. Soon after the misinformation starts showing up in derivative works and news feeds, or reaches a certain level of engagement, the fabricator will point out the false information and use it to attack the credibility of the individual(s) who referenced it. The end result is that the false information ends up discrediting the people who shared and used it. Fact checker organizations like Snopes.com and  Factcheck.org, are some of the largest producers of this type of content.

Samples of Discreditation content
Image 3
: Example of discreditation content currently in wide circulation 

The use of discreditation techniques can be illustrated via some of the QAnon affiliated user content on social media and how its being leveraged to censor conservative political speech. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube permit vile anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, and pro-jihadi materials to circulate widely for months on their platforms (this is despite the fact that they have the AI to instantly intercept and block it). As these materials spread throughout various communities and gain traction, the platforms take note of the users that view it and then censor them on the grounds that they are affiliated with the conspiratorial materials.

As many conservative users have discovered over the past three years, they don’t have to post anything controversial to get banned. Their only crime is that they viewed ‘subversive’ materials (which ironically, at least some them are produced by US based progressive propagandists as bait). Suspiciously, these propagandist continue to operate on these platforms even after the legitimate users are banned.

Russian disinformation operation using QAnon
Image 5: A profile of a Russian US based influence operations on several QAnon associated social media channels

From Russia with love
Image 6: Sample content and members of one of several US based ‘progressive’ and Russian propaganda teams operating on QAnon affiliated Facebook, Twitter, and YouTub networks. Of interest is the “Putin personality cult” propaganda published by some operators in early-mid 2016, long before the QAnon movement started.

Jason Gelinas and QAnon
Image 7
: The mysterious case of Jason Gelinas, a Citigroup tech executive by day and a QAnnon administrator at night and weekends. Gelinas’s progressive linkages, social network, and on-line activity don’t match the early 2017 QAnon style and form. It is likely that the content that Gelinas is aggregating/generating on his Qmap.pub site is either a honeypot or a large scale discreditation operation in the style of ‘Trust Sessions

Interview with Rabbi Abraham Finkelstein
Image 8: Sample content distributed via a QAnon associated Facebook and YouTube networks. A radio Interview with a Rabbi Abraham Finkelstein (the photo is a repurposed image of an attorney named Kenneth Weinberg). This hoax interview was produced in 2001 by the James Wickstrom. In the interview, the fictitious New York Rabbi admits to murdering between 100K-300K children per year in the US in order to first use their blood to make Passover bread, and then sell their bodies to McDonalds so they can be made into burgers and sausages. This posting has been on YouTube since September 27, 2019. It has been viewed over 227K times and has 2,075 comments.

*** Update 06/12/2020 ***
Apparently, the current Derek Chauvin conspiracy theory has spawned another conspiracy theory which claims that George Floyd’s fiancé, Courtney Ross, is actually Derek Chauvin. Running the analytics on her verified image shows that the image of Courtney does not match Chauvin on gender, age, nor facial features.

Courtney Ross vs. Derek Chauven
Image 9: The results of various video analytics comparing the images of Courtney Ross and Derek Chauven

References and Sources
XRVision Sentinel AI Platform – Face recognition, image reconstruction, and object classification

Copyright 2020 Yaacov Apelbaum, All Rights Reserved.