Abusive AI porn blocked by everyone from Twitter to PornHub

By Kitty Knowles 8 February 2018

It still runs rife on Reddit though.

Two weeks ago the world was shocked to see Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley in porn.

She didn’t literally decide to have a change of career – her face had been seamlessly doctored onto a adult performers body to create a so-called ‘deepfake’ video.

Ridley wasn’t alone. Other actresses including Harry Potter’s Emma, Black Swan’s Natalie Portman, Wonder Woman‘s Gal Gadot, and Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer and Maisie Williams all had their faces stolen.

Outside of the movies, everyone from pop musician Taylor Swift to model Cara Delevingne got the malicious treatment.

At the time, VR filmmaker Catherine Allen explained to The Memo how these amounted to a “new breed of sexual abuse”.

“Imagine if someone did that to your image – it would be horrible and potentially emotionally scarring,” she said.

Emma Watson is a victim of Deepfake porn. Image: Reddit.
Emma Watson is a victim of Deepfake porn. Image: Reddit.

Fighting back

Fortunately a crackdown is underway with digital leaders across the family-friendly and adult industries banning deepfakes.

Earlier this week PornHub banned the videos as it considers them to be “nonconsensual”.

“We do not tolerate any nonconsensual content on the site and we remove all said content as soon as we are made aware of it,” the triple-x leader said.

“Nonconsensual content directly violates our TOS [terms of service] and consists of content such as revenge porn, deepfakes or anything published without a person’s consent or permission.”

Elsewhere on social media, Twitter announced it would suspend accounts creating or distributing deepfakes.

Both the GIF hosting platform Gfycat and chat service Discord are also blocking the AI-created clips.

Natalie Portman also had her face stolen. Image: Reddit.

Bad eggs

UPDATE: Since the time of writing Reddit has also deleted its Deepfake subreddits. 

The Reddit community where these clips began, however, is still going strong, with over 170,000 subscribers to NSFW groups like ‘deepfakes’, ‘deepfakes porn videos’ and ‘celebfakes’.

It’s hardly surprising, given that Reddit has long housed the dark underbelly of the internet under the banner of free speech.

Although there is a line for some, it seems. We saw one comment calling out the use of underage images in deepfake videos.

Porn isn’t the only way deepfakes are being used, of course, we’ve explained how indie movie makers could now paste John Travolta’s face into their movie in a matter of hours.

Deepfakes could easily become a tool for politics, showing Barack Obama promoting discrimination, or Theresa May opposing Brexit.

That’s not to say there won’t be positive opportunities – perhaps for famous or beautiful people to sell their facial image rights for certain uses. Or as a new way for you to see what you’d look like in certain clothes.

But first we need regulation to stop the abuse.

We hope this deepfake porn crackdown is a just the start.