Fact Check: NON-Authentic Video Shows Tucker Carlson Endorsing Fake Barbara O'Neill Anti-Parasite Pill

Fact Check

  • by: Madison Dapcevich
Fact Check: NON-Authentic Video Shows Tucker Carlson Endorsing Fake Barbara O'Neill Anti-Parasite Pill AI Voices

Did a video on Facebook genuinely show TV personality Tucker Carlson endorsing an anti-parasite pill promoted by alternative naturopath Barbara O'Neill? No, that's not true: The video is dubbed with fake audio; an AI detection tool found it was 70.6 percent likely it was created using AI. Lead Stories traced the original clip of Carlson: He was discussing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 -- not parasites. Links affiliated with the video on Facebook led to websites promoting different products not affiliated with either Carlson, O'Neill or legitimate medical institutions. Finally, the video on Facebook did not provide legitimate evidence to corroborate claims, nor did the post or its video list a product by name.

The claim appeared in a video on Facebook on May 25, 2024 (archived here), with a caption that read:


A ball of parasites will come out of you after one pill of this remedy! Today, getting rid of parasites in the body has become easier than curing a cold. Dr. Barbara O'Neill tells about a new method of treatment that destroys 99% of parasites known to science within 72 hours. Place an order online and cleanse your body in a few days!

Here is how the post appeared at the time of writing:

image (4).png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu May 30 17:42:17 2024 UTC)

In the video above, Carlson appears onscreen first and he appears to be saying:

A ball of parasites will come out of you in the morning. Barbara O'Neill and Harvard University present a unique drug for parasitic infections. 99% of parasites known to science will die after taking the first pill. Be sure to watch this video to the end to learn how to do a complete body detox in just a few days.

Then, O'Neill appears to say, in part:

I will show you how to eliminate 99% of parasites from the body with one pill. Our medicine has proven its effectiveness even at the last stage of infection when parasites begin to multiply and devour your internal organs. No allergies and side effects. It is enough to take one course of treatment ...

AI-generated voices

Lead Stories found evidence that the clips had previously been posted online. The video on Facebook appeared to combine videos and dub them with fake audio. This was determined by taking a 30-second clip from the video of Carlson and O'Neill speaking and using the AI-generated content detection tool at Hive Moderation to test the audio. The input was determined to be 70.6 percent likely to be AI-generated.

Screenshot 2024-05-30 at 2.09.35 PM.png

(Source: Hivemoderation.com screenshot taken on Thu May 30 20:09:35 UTC 2024)

Original clip of Carlson discussed FISA

Lead Stories traced the original clip of Carlson using a reverse image search (archived here). It led to a video posted to YouTube by American Christian Media on April 11, 2024 (archived here), in which Carlson discussed "FISA," also known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, not parasites.

Next, a Google keyword search (archived here) led to an April 10, 2024, post on the Tucker Carlson Network (TCN) in which Carlson is seen wearing the same suit, jacket and pocket square as the video on Facebook. The background is also similar, as is indicated by the side-by-side comparison of the video on Facebook (left) compared to the original on TCN (right):

Screenshot 2024-05-30 at 10.39.36 AM.png

(Source: Facebook, TCN screenshots taken Thu May 30 16:39:36  UTC 2024)

Carlson did not mention parasites or O'Neill in the 11:52-minute clip shared on TCN.

Similarly, a reverse image search revealed (archived here) that the clip of O'Neill has been used in other videos that appear to be dubbed, including a video shared to YouTube that discusses whether "coconut oil is good for you" (archived here) and "the dangers of phones" (archived here). In both videos, O'Neill appears dubbed with a voice that does not speak English. However, Lead Stories was not able to trace the clip of O'Neill to its original source.

Government warnings against fake audio, celebrity endorsements

A deep fake voice, or voice cloning, mimics that of a real person, often through AI technology. As the Federal Trade Commission warned in November 2023 (archived here), fake voices can be hard to detect and are used by scammers to deceive or mislead people.

Such audio manipulations are hard to detect, but there are subtle red flags to look out for, according to the Better Business Bureau (archived here). Choppy sentences or confusing inflections are two such giveaways, both evident in the video on Facebook. The agency also notes (archived here) that celebrity impersonations are used to endorse health products, which leads users to buy products that are "substandard or doesn't exist."

Links with the video promote product not affiliated with Carlson, O'Neill

Links associated with the video on Facebook led to websites promoting two differently named products not affiliated with either Carlson, O'Neill or legitimate medical institutions.

The Facebook page that shared the video, "Good time," is self-described on its "About" page (archived here) as a "Broadcasting & media production company." The page was created on April 12, 2024. The page ran ads at the time of writing, including the video at the source of this fact check. It started running (archived here) on May 27, 2024, and included a link to the website aurapeakaxis.lat/zyyz3/ (archived here).

The link above led to a website posturing as a news publication, "US NEWS," with an article titled, "Shocking confession: Most people are infected with parasites. Parasites are the cause of serious diseases! There is salvation, but everyone is silent about it! Who benefits from this?"

According to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) (archived here), a nonprofit, private organization that manages and coordinates several databases related to webpages, this webpage was created on May 25, 2024.

Promoted on the website was a product named "Sweeterelief Glycogen Support" that, when clicked, leads users to another website, sweetreliefsupport.com (archived here). The latter page described the product as a "revolutionary formula to manage blood pressure and blood sugar levels." There is no mention of "parasites. This website was created on February 14, 2024, according to ICANN.

The video shared on Facebook did not list the product by name, which makes it easier for the posts and videos to be duplicated and shared. Neither website provided legitimate scientific or medical evidence to corroborate the claims.

Lead Stories has debunked other fake celebrity endorsements, including the scam that tech entrepreneur Elon Musk and interior designer Joanna Gaines promoted a product called "Watt Saver," that Snoop Dogg endorsed smoking cessation gummies created by O'Neill and that Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon and former Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary, endorsed a cure for tinnitus and hearing loss.

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  Madison Dapcevich

Raised on an island in southeast Alaska, Madison grew up a perpetually curious tidepooler and has used that love of science and innovation in her now full-time role as a science reporter for the fact-checking publication Lead Stories.

Read more about or contact Madison Dapcevich

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