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X’s Response: Blocking Searches amid Taylor Swift AI Scandal

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X's Response: Blocking Searches amid Taylor Swift AI Scandal

In response to the circulation of sexually explicit artificial intelligence (AI) generated images of Taylor Swift, the social media platform X has temporarily banned searches using the pop musician’s name. Users attempting to search for terms such as “Taylor Swift,” “Taylor Swift AI,” or “AI Taylor Swift” will not find any search results. The ban was implemented due to the numerous fake images of the artist that went viral online, with a significant portion of them containing explicit themes. Instagram, the image and video-sharing platform, has also taken similar measures by adding disclaimers to searches for “Taylor Swift AI.”

Taylor Swift is reportedly considering taking legal action against the deepfake site responsible for publishing the explicit images. United States Representative Joseph Morelle also spoke out against these deepfake images on January 27, calling for legislation that criminalizes the production of deepfakes without consent. Morelle introduced the Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act in May 2023, aiming to make non-consensual deepfakes a federal crime and demanding urgent action.

In October 2023, U.S. senators proposed a bill targeting the makers of AI-generated deepfakes in general, instead of solely focusing on sexually explicit or intimate content. The concern surrounding deepfakes has prompted an increasing number of celebrities to speak out against them. Data from SumSub reveals a significant 10x rise in deepfakes across all industries globally from 2022 to 2023.

Last year, several prominent individuals fell victim to viral AI-generated deepfakes, including actor Tom Hanks, popular YouTuber MrBeast, and American broadcast journalist Gayle King, who were falsely depicted endorsing products they did not actually support. On January 15, Michael Saylor, the executive chairman of MicroStrategy, revealed that he has been removing nearly 80 deepfake videos of himself on a daily basis.

The issue of deepfakes remains a significant concern, prompting social media platforms to take measures to tackle the problem. Temporary bans on search terms associated with Taylor Swift aim to curb the circulation of explicit deepfake images. The actions taken by X and Instagram reflect the increasing need for legal action and legislation to address the production and dissemination of deepfakes, both in the realm of entertainment and across industries globally.

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