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Updated January 28th, 2024 at 00:20 IST

It's controversial/ Taylor Swift Is The Latest Victim Of AI Deepfake: All You Need To Know

Taylor's fanbase of “Swifties” quickly mobilised on social media as her deepfake images continued to spread. The hashtag #ProtectTaylorSwift also went viral.

Taylor Swift in Eras Tour
Taylor Swift in Eras Tour | Image:IMDb
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Pornographic deepfake images of Taylor Swift are circulating online, making the singer the most famous victim of a scourge that tech platforms and anti-abuse groups have struggled to fix. Sexually explicit and abusive fake images of Swift began circulating widely this week on the social media platform X.

The White House has pitched for legislation to protect people from deepfakes generated by AI, after the spread of fake photos of Taylor Swift went viral on social media this week.

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the incident “alarming” and said it’s among the AI issues the Joe Biden administration has been prioritising, reports The Verge.

Taylor Swift | Image: IMDb

Swift's deepfake images have a connection with love life

The researchers found at least a couple dozen unique AI-generated images. The most widely shared were football-related, showing a painted or bloodied Swift that objectified her and in some cases inflicted violent harm on her deepfake persona. That her images were related to football implies that the singer's personal life is under scrutiny. The Blank Space singer and Kansas City Chiefs football player went public with their romance in October 2023.

Swift's fans mobilise on social media

Taylor Swift's fanbase of “Swifties” quickly mobilised on social media as her deepfake images continued to spread. They launched a counteroffensive on X (formerly known as Twitter) and a #ProtectTaylorSwift hashtag to flood it with more positive images of the pop star. Some said they were reporting accounts that were sharing the deepfakes.

Taylor Swift | Image: IMDb

Brittany Spanos, a senior writer at Rolling Stone who teaches a course on Swift at New York University, said Swift’s fans are quick to mobilise in support of their artist, especially those who take their fandom very seriously and in situations of wrongdoing.

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“This could be a huge deal if she really does pursue it to court,” she said.

Spanos said the deep fake pornography issue aligns with others Swift has had in the past, pointing to her 2017 lawsuit against a radio station DJ who allegedly groped her; jurors awarded Swift $1 in damages, a sum her attorney, Douglas Baldridge, called “a single symbolic dollar, the value of which is immeasurable to all women in this situation” in the midst of the MeToo movement.

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X and Meta react to Swift's images circulating on the platform

When reached for comment on the fake images of Swift, X directed the The Associated Press to a post from its safety account that said the company strictly prohibits the sharing of non-consensual nude images on its platform. The company has also sharply cut back its content-moderation teams since Elon Musk took over the platform in 2022.

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Taylor Swift | Image: IMDb

“Our teams are actively removing all identified images and taking appropriate actions against the accounts responsible for posting them,” the company wrote in the X post recently. “We’re closely monitoring the situation to ensure that any further violations are immediately addressed, and the content is removed.”

Meanwhile, Meta said in a statement that it strongly condemns “the content that has appeared across different internet services” and has worked to remove it.

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“We continue to monitor our platforms for this violating content and will take appropriate action as needed,” the company said.

(With AP News inputs)

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Published January 27th, 2024 at 23:58 IST

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