Taylor Swift Deepfake Pornography Spurs Renewed Calls for US Legislation

Deepfake pornographic photos and videos of Taylor Swift are spreading quickly on the internet, prompting calls to outlaw the practice—which involves using artificial intelligence to synthesize phony but convincing explicit imagery—among US legislators. This week, millions of people have viewed the US popstar’s photos that have been shared on social media. One of Swift’s photographs hosted on X was viewed 47 million times before it was taken down from the app Telegram.

“Our teams are actively removing all identified images and taking appropriate actions. Against the accounts responsible for posting them.” X user stated in a statement. Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, a Democrat from New York, stated on X that Taylor Swift’s situation is not unprecedented. Women have been the focus of deepfakes [without] their consent for years. And deepfakes are now easier and less expensive to create thanks to advances in AI. Both political parties and even Swifties should be able to work together to find a solution to this problem.

While some US jurisdictions have laws against deepfakes, there is a rising movement to amend federal law.

Congress Proposing Action towards Taylor Swift Deepfake Pornography

Taylor Swift Deepfake Pornography Spurs Renewed Calls for US Legislation

The proposed Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act, introduced by Democratic congressman Joseph Morelle in May 2023, would outlaw the sharing of deepfake pornography without permission. “Can cause irreversible emotional, financial, and reputational harm,” according to Morelle, “and unfortunately, women are disproportionately impacted.”

He denounced the Swift photos in a tweet, calling them “sexual exploitation.” His suggested legislation is still pending.

Congressman Tom Kean Jr., a Republican, stated: “It is evident that AI technology is developing more quickly than the required regulations.” Taylor Swift or any other young person in our nation could be the victim. So, we need to put precautions in place to stop this worrying trend. In addition to sponsoring Morelle’s bill, he has presented his own AI Labelling Act, which would mandate the labeling of all AI-generated content, including harmless chatbots used in customer service situations.

Increasing Deepfakes

Taylor Swift Deepfake Pornography Spurs Renewed Calls for US Legislation

Swift has kept her comments regarding the pictures quiet. As of the time of publication, her US publicist has not responded to a request for comment.

Some well-known men have been convincingly impersonated through deepfake audio or video. Especially politicians like Joe Biden and Donald Trump as well as musicians like Drake and the Weeknd. Tom Hanks warned his Instagram fans not to fall for a phony dentistry advertisement with his likeness in October 2023.

However, a 2019 study by DeepTrace Labs, was included in the proposed US legislation. It indicated that 96% of deepfake video content was non-consenting pornographic material. This indicates that the technology is primarily directed towards women and in a sexually exploitative fashion. Since 2019, the problem has significantly gotten worse. A long-standing issue is fake pornography, which is created by using photo editing software to insert an unwilling person’s face into an already-existing pornographic image.

“We must do more to protect women and girls from people who take or manipulate intimate photos in order to harass or humiliate them.” Stated Dominic Raab, the deputy prime minister at the time. With these amendments, law enforcement and prosecution will have the authority to hold these cowards accountable and protect women and girls from such horrific mistreatment.

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