Apology for Explicit Taylor Swift Deepfakes

I can begin to fathom the emotions you’re grappling with after having explicit deepfake videos of yourself circulate on X. Distaste. Distress, possibly. Humiliation, as well.

I express my deepest sympathies regarding your current predicament. No one should experience such misuse of their image. But if you haven’t already, I urge you to let your anger rise to the surface.

Be incensed that you, numerous women and individuals from marginalized communities globally are falling victim to this. Be livid that our existing laws fall drastically short in safeguarding us against such breaches. Be irate that men (since it’s primarily men engaging in this) can breach our privacy in such an intrusive manner and remain unaffected and undetected. Be infuriated that companies facilitating the creation and wide dispersal of this content evade all repercussions and even benefit financially from this awful application of their technology.

Deepfake pornography is not new, but its present form is the most egregious. Advancements in AI technology have made the production of hyper-realistic deepfakes incredibly simple and inexpensive. The majority of deepfakes are designed for explicit content. A single photo obtained from social media platforms suffices to craft a convincing deepfake. Anyone whose photo has been posted or circulated online is vulnerable.

Here’s the downside. We presently lack effective methods to counter this. I recently wrote an article discussing three potential strategies to contend with unauthorized deepfake pornography, including watermarks and data-contamination approaches. Yet, the truth remains that feasible technical solutions for this issue are nonexistent. The preventative measures we have are in the testing phase and haven’t received universal acceptance by the technology industry, thus reducing their efficacy.

The technology sector has hitherto been resistant or uninspired to introduce changes that would inhibit the creation or dissemination of such content using their tools or platforms. Hence, legislative intervention becomes indispensable.

Powerful individuals like you have the resources and legal assistance to fight. However, disadvantaged women, women of color, women fleeing abusive relationships, female journalists, and even children are all at risk of having their images misused and sexualized, without having the ability to pursue legal justice or seek help. This development could potentially harm any one of your followers.

The silver lining is that your situation has made US policymakers attentive. You have the unique chance and momentum to push for substantial, actionable reform.

I am aware that you stand up for justice and do not hesitate to verbally challenge when you notice injustices. There will be a serious pushback against any regulations that could potentially affect tech companies. However, you possess the influence and capability to convince politicians from various spectrums that measures to curtail the propagation of such deepfakes are essential. Tech firms and legislators must realize that the time for indecision has passed. Those producing these deepfakes must face consequences.

You have been known to cause a literal seismic shake. Triumphing over the battle against non-consensual deepfake videos could potentially have a much more profound impact.