Deepfake pornography

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Deepfake pornography, or simply fake pornography, is a type of synthetic porn that is generated by using deepfake technology. Many deepfakes on the internet feature pornography of people, often female celebrities whose likeness is typically used without their consent. [1]



Deepfake pornography prominently surfaced on the Internet in 2017, particularly on Reddit. [2] The first one that captured attention was the Daisy Ridley deepfake, which was featured in several articles. [2] Other prominent pornographic deepfakes were of various other celebrities. [2] [3] [4] [5] A report published in October 2019 by Dutch cybersecurity startup Deeptrace estimated that 96% of all deepfakes online were pornographic. [6]

In December 2017, Samantha Cole published an article about r/deepfakes in Vice that drew the first mainstream attention to deepfakes being shared in online communities. [7] Six weeks later, Cole wrote in a follow-up article about the large increase in AI-assisted fake pornography. [8] Since 2017, Samantha Cole of Vice has published a series of articles covering news surrounding deepfake pornography. [9] [10] [11] [12] [5] [13] [7] [8]

Since then, multiple social media outlets have banned or made efforts to restrict deepfake pornography. Most notably, the r/deepfakes subreddit on Reddit was banned on February 7, 2018, due to the policy violation of "involuntary pornography". [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] In the same month, representatives from Twitter stated that they would suspend accounts suspected of posting non-consensual deepfake content. [13]

Scarlett Johansson, a frequent subject of deepfake porn, spoke publicly about the subject to The Washington Post in December 2018. [20] In a prepared statement, she expressed that despite concerns, she would not attempt to remove any of her deepfakes, due to her belief that they do not affect her public image and that differing laws across countries and the nature of internet culture make any attempt to remove the deepfakes "a lost cause". [20] While celebrities like herself are protected by their fame, however, she believes that deepfakes pose a grave threat to women of lesser prominence who could have their reputations damaged by depiction in involuntary deepfake pornography or revenge porn. [20]


In June 2019, a downloadable Windows and Linux application called DeepNude was released which used neural networks, specifically generative adversarial networks, to remove clothing from images of women. The app had both a paid and unpaid version, the paid version costing $50. [12] On June 27 the creators removed the application and refunded consumers, although various copies of the app, both free and for charge, continue to exist. [21] [22] On github, the open source-version of this program (called "open-deepnude" [23] ) was deleted. [24] The open-source version has the advantage of allowing to be trained on a larger dataset of nude images to increase the resulting nude image's accuracy level. [25]

Ethical debate

Deepfake pornography software can be misused to harass and shame women.” [26]

Currently the footage produced by software such as DeepNude isn't nearly sophisticated enough to pass forensic analysis [27] [ clarification needed ]

Efforts by companies to limit deepfake pornography footage

On January 31 2018, Gfycat began removing all deepfakes from its site. [11] [28]

In February 2018, r/deepfakes was banned by Reddit for sharing involuntary pornography. [19] Other websites have also banned the use of deepfakes for involuntary pornography, including the social media platform Twitter and the pornography site Pornhub. [13] However, some websites have not banned deepfake content, including 4chan and 8chan. [29]

Also in February 2018, Pornhub said that it would ban deepfake videos on its website because it is considered "non consensual content" which violates their terms of service. [10] They also stated previously to Mashable that they will take down content flagged as deepfakes. [30] Writers from Motherboard from Buzzfeed News reported that searching "deepfakes" on Pornhub still returned multiple recent deepfake videos. [10]

Chat site Discord has taken action against deepfakes in the past, [31] and has taken a general stance against deepfakes. [28] [32] In September 2018, Google added "involuntary synthetic pornographic imagery" to its ban list, allowing anyone to request the block of results showing their fake nudes. [33]

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