EU to pass law criminalising deepnudes after Taylor Swift furore

Fans rally around pop princess after AI-generated pictures circulate on X

8 February 2024

If you want proof that Taylor Swift’s power extends far beyond the world of entertainment look no further than the EU, which is tightening legislation banning ‘deepnudes’ after AI-generated images of the singer appeared online.

The European Union wants to criminalise the manufacture of deepnudes, on top of other regulations around undesirable behaviour.

Swift’s fake images were distributed through X (formerly Twitter), after which there was a storm of outrage by fans, following which the social network ordered removed the pictures.

Because, the EU reasons, if Taylor Swift’s fanbase can stop the spread of deepnudes, then it should be easier for every citizen, especially women and girls, to do so. It is therefore adapting a piece of legislation making deepnudes punishable from mid-2027.

The legislation will extend beyond deepnudes to include cyberstalking, forced marriage or female genital mutilation, and the unsolicited circulation of explicit and sexual photos – so-called ‘revenge porn’.

There has been a proliferation of websites and apps that allow you to generate deepnudes. ‘Nudify’ apps allow you to convert ordinary photos into AI-generated nude images, often for a fee.

Of these, women and girls are overwhelmingly the biggest victims. Many of the AI models are trained to recognise women’s bodies. The huge presence of explicit photos on the Internet also makes it easy to train these models.

European Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli welcomed the law: “Our commitment to protecting the dignity and rights of women and girls in Europe has led to the criminalization of various forms of cyber violence.”

With this, the vacuum that arose around AI abuse due to no legal framework seems to be solved. Or at least by mid-2027. Not even Taylor Swift can change this long implementation deadline.

News Wires

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