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Updated January 29th, 2024 at 15:35 IST

Taylor Swift searches remain blocked on X after fake images shared

Results for Top, Latest and People category remained blank with a “something went wrong” message on January 29, 2024 after her AI-generated images went viral.

Business Desk
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift | Image:AP
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Deepfakes in US: Users are not able to reach singer Taylor Swift’s profile on X, more than a day after search results for her name were blocked from the platform following her fake sexually explicit images circulating on social media.

Head of business operations for the Elon Musk-owned social media platform said the action was temporary.

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Users searching for the pop singer on X cannot access her profile, or results in Top, Latest and People running blank.

“Something went wrong, but don’t fret - it’s not your fault,” the page said

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On Sunday, searches for Swift's name during the afternoon on the social media platform yielded the error message, "Something went wrong. Try reloading."

"This is a temporary action and done with an abundance of caution as we prioritize safety on this issue," Joe Benarroch, head of business operations at X, said in a statement.

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The issue rings a bell with a similar deepfake incident with actress Rashmika Mandanna in India, which garnered state and central government attention. Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar recently issued an advisory for social media platforms to remove deepfakes and misinformation, or face action for such content.

In Taylor Swift’s case, the White House took cognisance of the issue with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre terming the fake images "alarming."

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Jean-Pierre also pinned the responsibility on social media companies, saying on Friday that such platforms have a responsibility to prevent the spread of such misinformation.

Last year, the 34-year old was declared Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" post launching a global tour that smashed records, and made her the world's most-streamed musical artist.

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At a news briefing, the White House spokesperson Jean-Pierre said that casual enforcement against false images, likely created by artificial intelligence (AI), disproportionately affects women.

Notably, Swift has a net worth of $1100 million in 2024, as per Forbes.

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An image on X belonging to the singer was seen 47 million times, before the account which shared it was suspended, the New York Times reported.

The lapses have been attributed to lower content moderation going down in social media platforms. Notably, Elon Musk has been criticised for his posts as well as efforts to overhaul X’s content moderation policies since he took over the platform in a $44 billion deal in 2022.

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This resulted in several advertisers on the platform pulling back from spending on the platform due to the likelihood of appearing next to harmful posts.

The platform, however, said an overwhelming majority of content views are of "healthy" posts. In a bid to promote free speech but restrict the reach of some posts, X CEO Linda Yaccarino and Musk came up with the "freedom of speech, not reach" policy. X refrains from deleting these posts.

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Notably, Swift will be attending a National Football League (NFL) playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. She is reportedly seeing Chiefs’ Travis Kelce. Normally, the broadcasts of Chiefs games show Swift's reactions.

(With Reuters Inputs)

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Published January 29th, 2024 at 15:35 IST

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