“This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”

Taylor Swift’s leaked AI images spark a call for legal action.
Explicit AI-generated images of Taylor Swift are leaked on X.
Explicit AI-generated images of Taylor Swift are leaked on “X”.

The AI-generated deep fake nude images of global pop star Taylor Swift rapidly spread on the social media platform “X” over the weekend. The malicious release of these sexually explicit images has caused fans and lawmakers to urge reforms to protect those who could be harmed by their creation and distribution and to take down the accounts that are creating and spreading these fake, damaging images. 

After being seen by 47 million people, the original post and creator of these images has been blocked on “X”. Swift’s name was also blocked from the search bar, coming up with the statement, “Something went wrong. Try reloading.” Joe Benarroch, head of business operations at “X” put out a statement about the matter on Saturday stating, “This is a temporary action and done with an abundance of caution as we prioritize safety on this issue.” This has since been fixed and the platform is now is once again allowing normal posts related to her. 

Since the deepfake images were released, multiple agencies have made calls for immediate action against AI. The actors union, SAG-AFTRA, has called for support of the “Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act,” introduced by Democratic Congressman Joe Morelle of New York. The act would criminalize the nonconsensual production and distribution of AI-generated sexually explicit images. 

The White House also made a statement, calling the situation “alarming” and urging social media companies to enforce their own rules to combat the spread of misinformation and sexually explicit AI images. 

“It is alarming,” press secretary Karine Jean Pierre said in an interview with Fortune magazine. “So while social media companies make their own independent decisions about content management, we believe they have an important role to play in enforcing their own rules to prevent the spread of misinformation and non-consensual intimate imagery.”

The Biden administration has since appointed a task force to address the spread of online harassment and abuse. In addition, the Justice Department added a hotline for those exploited by image-based sexual abuse. 

 

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About the Contributor
Avery Anderson, Web Manager
Avery is a junior and serves as a web manager for the Antler Express. This is her second year on staff.
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