Fake images of Taylor Swift are spreading on the internet. Controversial graphics created by artificial intelligence.

/Dimitrios Kambouris /Getty Images

False images of Taylor Swift are spreading on social media. The harmful potential of artificial intelligence is revealing itself in full force.

Taylor Swift has become an unwanted protagonist in pornographic images that are widely circulating on social media, especially on the platform X, formerly known as Twitter. The pictures depicting the music star in explicit sexual poses were solely created using artificial intelligence. Before they were removed, millions of people had viewed them. Once virtual content appears on the internet, it easily finds its way to less moderated communication channels.

The dark side of artificial intelligence

This incident has drawn society’s attention to the harmful potential of artificial intelligence in creating fake content, especially in the context of the upcoming U.S. presidential elections. Concerns are growing about disinformation generated by artificial intelligence in the form of images and videos that will be challenging to distinguish from real ones.

This is a perfect example of how artificial intelligence can be utilized for various unethical purposes, especially when there are insufficient barriers to protect public space,” said Ben Decker from Memetica, a digital investigation agency, in an interview with CNN.

Decker believes that social media platforms lack effective content monitoring plans, particularly when it comes to artificial intelligence tools that quickly gain popularity, creating potentially harmful content.

Weak content moderation on social media

Platform X (formerly Twitter) has significantly reduced its number of moderators, relying mainly on automated systems and user reports. As a result, it is currently under scrutiny, especially in the European Union, for its content moderation practices. Another example is Meta (Facebook, Instagram), which also does not focus effectively on moderating content. CNN obtained information from knowledgeable sources that Mark Zuckerberg’s company has cut employment in teams dealing with combating misinformation, coordinated harassment campaigns, and trolling.

False images practically go unpunished

The source of the false images of Taylor Swift on social media is unknown. However, there are many tools on the internet, including those available as open source, that allow the generation of virtually anything the human imagination suggests.

Such technology, for example, deepfake, has long been used in so-called revenge porn, where false images are used without the consent of the affected person in a context they certainly would not have chosen. Despite theoretical regulations against such crimes, enforcing the law encounters difficulties.

Fake images of Taylor Swift are spreading on the internet. Controversial graphics created by artificial intelligence.

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