It’s time we took the misuse of deepfake technology to target individuals seriously and looks like the US Congress is. After Taylor Swift became a victim of deepfake pornography and her search results on X were polluted with explicit nude deepfake images of the singer, a bipartisan group of US senators introduced a bill that would criminalise the spread of nonconsensual, sexualised images generated by artificial intelligence.
With the new bill introduced, this would allow victims depicted in nude or sexually explicit “digital forgeries” to seek a civil penalty against “individuals who produced or possessed the forgery with intent to distribute it” or anyone who received the material knowing it was not made with consent.
Among the people involved with this bill are Dick Durbin, the US Senate majority whip, and senators Lindsey Graham, Amy Klobuchar and Josh Hawle. The bill is labelled as the Disrupt Explicit Forged Images and Non-Consensual Edits Act of 2024, or the Defiance Act.
In a press release, Dick Durban said, “This month, fake, sexually-explicit images of Taylor Swift that were generated by artificial intelligence swept across social media platforms. Although the imagery may be fake, the harm to the victims from the distribution of sexually explicit ‘deepfakes’ is very real.”
Josh Hawle added, “Nobody – neither celebrities nor ordinary Americans – should ever have to find themselves featured in AI pornography. Innocent people have a right to defend their reputations and hold perpetrators accountable in court. This bill will make that a reality.”
Sexualised, exaggerated images of Taylor Swift at football games went viral over the weekend on X. These were viewed millions of times before X took them down and apologised for what had happened. Taylor Swift search re-enabled after being taken down by X over deepfake porno images
Deepfakes are AI-made images or videos of real people. Over the past few months, these have become increasingly common and many celebrities worldwide have been affected by this. Internet users can remove a person’s clothes or show sexually objectionable activity using the technology. Using AI, people can either swap faces or modify existing images of the celebrity online. (Agencies)