Last week, X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, was inundated with AI-generated images and videos depicting singer Taylor Swift in explicit situations, commonly known as deepfakes. These deepfakes, which surfaced primarily on misogynistic forums like 4chan and private Telegram channels, quickly spread across X, amassing millions of views and reposts before being removed.
Despite violating X’s terms of service, the company took 17 hours to remove one particularly viral post, prompting outrage and calls for stricter laws against the dissemination of such content.
Taylor Swift AI Video Reddit
To combat the spread of these deepfakes, X temporarily banned search results related to Taylor Swift and implemented measures to remove offending material. Swift’s fans rallied online, posting non-sexualized images of the singer with the hashtag #ProtectTaylorSwift and reporting accounts sharing explicit content. Eventually, X lifted the ban on Swift’s name after two days, pledging to continue monitoring and removing inappropriate content.
The proliferation of these deepfakes on X can be partly attributed to the platform’s lax approach to content moderation following its acquisition by Elon Musk. Significant layoffs within X’s trust and safety teams have left the platform reliant on automated moderation tools, exacerbating the challenge of identifying and removing harmful content.
Similar downsizing of trust and safety teams in other major tech companies raises concerns about the spread of misinformation and deepfakes across various platforms.
Nonconsensual pornography, including deepfake images and videos, remains a prevalent issue online, with women disproportionately targeted. Despite efforts to combat this phenomenon, advancements in AI technology and widespread access to generative tools continue to fuel its proliferation.
Legislation specifically targeting nonconsensual deepfakes, supported by influential figures like Taylor Swift and advocated by lawmakers, is gaining traction, with bills such as the Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act potentially coming up for a vote.
Swift’s involvement in raising awareness about deepfakes underscores the potential influence of culturally relevant figures in shaping policy agendas. While the extent of political mobilization on this issue remains uncertain, the Swift deepfake incident highlights the importance of addressing AI’s misuse through legislative measures and robust content moderation practices.
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