Deepfake Porn: Is Creation Punishable by Law in 2024?

KEY TAKEAWAYS

In 2023, deepfake porn, predominantly targeting women, has surged, prompting legal actions in the U.S. and India. New laws are being introduced to penalize creators and platforms hosting such content, reflecting an evolving legal landscape. Public awareness and advancements in AI technology underscore the need for ongoing vigilance and regulation.

In today’s tech world, deepfake porn is a big concern.

Deepfakes use advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to swap faces in videos, making it look like someone is doing or saying things they aren’t. While this technology has led to new creative uses in art and movies, it’s also created problems, especially with deepfake porn.

This kind of fake content uses people’s images without their permission in adult videos.

In 2023 alone, there’s been a startling increase in deepfake videos. In research conducted by Home Security Heroes, they found that out of the 95,820 deepfake online videos, a staggering 98% are categorized as deepfake porn.

deepfake porn
Source: Homesecurityheroes

Even more concerning is the focus on women, with 99% of these videos featuring female subjects, primarily those working in the entertainment industry, accounting for 94% of the people featured.

This article explores the legal side of deepfake porn, looking at whether making it is now against the law. It also talks about how people are reacting to deepfakes and the steps being taken by governments and organizations to address the challenges of these AI-generated videos.

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Legal Boundaries: Tackling Deepfake Porn Creation

In 2023, there has been a huge push to address the legal and regulatory challenges posed by deepfake porn, especially in school environments where such incidents are increasingly causing concern.

In the U.S., after a scandal involving high school students and deepfake porn, lawmakers have started to make it illegal to create and share deepfake porn without permission. For example, the Governor of Illinois changed the state’s law to let victims of deepfake porn sue for damages.

Furthermore, a new bill called the AI Labeling Act of 2023 has been introduced by Congressman Tom Kean Jr. This bill aims to make it clear when content is made by AI by requiring labels and disclosures.

In India, the government is also taking steps to deal with deepfakes. The IT Minister said they plan to punish people who create deepfakes and the platforms that host them. The focus is on four main areas: finding deepfakes, stopping them from spreading, strengthening reporting mechanisms, and raising awareness.

Additionally, the Indian Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) issued an advisory to major social media companies to identify and remove misinformation and deepfakes within 36 hours of being reported. This directive underscores the urgency of tackling deepfake content, especially given the potential harm to women and children.

The Rise of AI Deepfake Porn: How Are Deepfakes Made?

Recent advancements in deepfake technology have brought both innovative possibilities and serious concerns. Two key developments are driving these changes: the emergence of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and the rise of easy-to-use deepfake creation tools and communities.

GANs, first introduced in 2014, are complex AI systems that have revolutionized the way realistic images, sounds, and videos are created. They work by having two parts of the AI compete against each other: one creates fake content, and the other tries to detect if it’s fake or real. This competition improves the quality of the fake content.

The academic world has shown great interest in GANs, with hundreds of studies published since their introduction, indicating the technology’s vast potential.

Another major factor in how deepfakes are made is the availability of tools that make creating them easier. These tools have become more user-friendly, meaning people don’t need as much technical knowledge to use them.

The survey by Home Heroes reveals that there are approximately 42 easy-to-use tools for making deepfakes, with these tools being searched for online about 10 million times every month.

Pie chart of deepfake tools
Source: Homesecurityheroes

Public Perception and Responses to Deepfake Porn

The survey revealed more eye-opening facts about deepfake porn. About 48% of American men have watched deepfake porn at least once, showing how common it has become. Most people, around 57%, watch it out of curiosity about this new technology. Others are drawn to it because it features famous people (48%) or fulfills certain fantasies (36%).

What’s more, 74% of those who’ve seen deepfake porn don’t feel guilty, which might mean it’s becoming more accepted.

deepfake porn
Source: Homesecurityheroes

The survey also shows that deepfake porn is changing what kind of adult content people watch. One in five people who watch porn every day now prefer deepfake versions. And 20% are even interested in how to make porn deepfakes, with about 10% having tried to do it.

However, there are serious worries about the harm caused by deepfakes. A large number, 73%, of those surveyed said they would report it to the authorities if someone they knew became a victim of deepfake porn.

The survey’s findings about deepfake porn consumption align with a disturbing narrative explored in the documentary “Another Body.” In the documentary, the story revolves around a female engineering student who becomes entangled in a deepfake pornography scandal. The situation unfolds when she is alerted by a male friend about the existence of explicit images online, shockingly featuring her own face and name.

This revelation, coming from her friend, adds a layer of complexity as he faces the discomfort of admitting his own consumption of porn while bringing this sensitive matter to her attention.

The Bottom Line: Is Creating Deepfake Porn Punishable by Law in 2023?

The fight against the harmful effects of deepfakes is continuous and demands ongoing legal adaptations. As technology advances, there’s a pressing need for updated laws and heightened public awareness to ensure responsible AI use and protect individuals from online exploitation.

The legal framework around deepfake pornography is rapidly changing in 2023, with increasing cases targeting women in entertainment. Countries like the U.S. and India are enacting laws against non-consensual deepfake content.

In conclusion, it’s becoming more likely that creating deepfake porn will be against the law.

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Maria Webb

Maria is a technology journalist with over five years of experience with a deep interest in AI and machine learning. She excels in data-driven journalism, making complex topics both accessible and engaging for her audience. Her work is prominently featured on Techopedia, Business2Community, and Eurostat, where she provided creative technical writing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours in English and a Master of Science in Strategic Management and Digital Marketing from the University of Malta. Maria's background includes journalism for Newsbook.com.mt, covering a range of topics from local events to international tech trends.