In 2011, a creepy Facebook app called Take This Lollipop went viral. It used private data captured by the platform to send viewers on a customized horror adventure, stalked by a tech-savvy villain who pinpointed the locations of their actual houses.
Now, nine years later, creator Jason Zada is back with a sequel that taps into the danger of a new type of digital technology: deepfakes. While advertisers and satirists have used the tech to fake words from world leaders, it isn’t only celebrities who can end up in seemingly compromising positions or appear to say things they didn’t. Consumer-level apps have been banned for faking nudes of women and underage girls.
In “Take This Lollipop 2,” Bill Oberst Jr. returns as the stalker, only this time he steals viewers' faces, showing how far the tech has come from its early days, when algorithms needed hours of footage of a person to emulate their features. "Take This Lollipop" is now a dedicated site that uses webcam footage to put viewers in the film, which looks like a video chat service, complete with an AI-powered interactive chat window. One-by-one, the other viewers meet a terrible fate
Zada directed the interactive short, which was built by Imposium and enlisted the skills of deepfake artist Collin Frend (BirbFakes). Promos feature Maria Menunous of GSTV.