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Deepfake porn: should it be illegal?

By Shannon Flynn

Oct 22, 2021

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The online sex industry has prospered in recent years, with the increased use of online platforms such as OnlyFans, Twitch and other adult content streaming websites. With the rise of deepfake technology, it’s no surprise that more people are having ethical debates over it. Below, we’ll explore what deepfake technology is, how it made its way into the porn industry and some examples of how deepfake porn has already started to spark major controversy.

What is deepfake technology?

Deepfake technology has exploded over the past few years. In simple terms, it allows users to create fake videos, images and recordings of people, often celebrities or influencers, which appear to be authentic.

Some of the earliest and most controversial examples of deepfake technology were in cases of pornography. Whether face-swapping a celebrity for an adult performer or an AI algorithm that creates a nude image of a person, deepfake technology has brought up concerns regarding privacy and consent.

Deepfake content can also be found via a simple Google search query. Because it’s so simple to access thosepornographic or notmany have expressed worries over the cultural significance of this technology and the importance of regulating it.

High-profile cases of deepfake content

It’s commonly known that using images or videos of someone without their written consent can become a murky situation. Additionally, deepfake content is typically shared on social media platforms or sent directly to online users. A notable example that caught the media’s attention was the super-realistic deepfake of actor Tom Cruise, which sparked a debate over the ethics of deepfake content.

Another case occurred in 2019 when a viral, fake video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made rounds on the internet, picking up 2.5 million views on Facebook. Pelosi appeared to be impaired or intoxicated in the video.

Deepfake porn and deepnudes

One of the major reasons there’s been an uptick of deepfake cases across the internet is that recent advances in technology have made it easier to create and more accessible for even the most novice users online.

It has enabled people to transfer imaginative fantasies online and make them a reality. This is deeply unsettling to some people, and it naturally raises questions over the legality of the technology and how it’s being used.

While deepfake tech is not inherently malicious, it can create major problems for people and their right to privacy when used with malicious intent. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to identify if a piece of content is integrated with deepfake tech, which is another reason why ethics concerns keep arising.

There have been many reported cases of people using deepfake nudes or videos to harm someone else’s reputation—revenge porn is a serious issue that deepfake may be perpetuating. Harassment through revenge porn is grounds for litigation, which rules in favour of the victim in many cases.

What measures need to be taken to ensure that deepfake technology is used appropriately and without the intention of causing harm or embarrassment to someone? That’s certainly a loaded question, and there’s no clear-cut answer.

Current legislation regarding deepfake technology

Thankfully, legislation in place requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to continuously monitor and investigate the technology behind deepfakes and how they cause harm or harassment. The law is titled the ‘National Defense Authorization Act of 2021’, commonly referred to as the NDAA. In addition to working with the DHS, the law requires the Pentagon to assess the potential harm deepfake tech could have on US military members. While this legislation is a step in the right direction, it’s unclear what other laws may be enforced due to the problems deepfake technology has caused.

The future of deepfake porn

In a world struggling to obtain media literacy, deepfake porn may contribute to people’s inability to identify what is real and what is fake on the internet. Deepfake videos can potentially harm someone’s reputation and likeness.

Governments must continue researching deepfake technology to enact legislation that will protect victims in cases of deepfake porn, where images or videos of them are used inappropriately.

While deepfake porn is not illegal right now, it could be in the future, depending on various factors. It’ll be interesting to see how leaders intervene in this situation and take steps to limit online harassment or privacy violations.

Deepfake porn: should it be illegal?


By Shannon Flynn

Oct 22, 2021

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Opinion

7 ways deepnudes could change the way we wank

By Iris Luz

Sep 19, 2019

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Sex tech

Sep 19, 2019

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In the past century, the online sex industry has prospered—from ASCII porn, to Twitch streamers and tech dommes, camgirls have reached new heights but also new lows. With the recent emergence of deepfakes, many people are asking themselves what the future of porn, internet security and fake news will look like, and so do I. What measures must we now put into place to mediate this new form of content creation? I decided to venture into the universe of deepfakes, and research its repercussions on the inherently digital realm of cam girls, to see just how much it could change in the coming years.

For the newbies out there, neural networks use algorithms to generate deepfakes that then create imagery based on images they’ve been fed beforehand. Information flows through a neural network in two steps. When it’s learning or operating normally, patterns of information are fed into the network via the input units, which trigger the layers of hidden units, and these, in turn, arrive at the output units.

These algorithms have been used in the past to conjure up fake faces or even infinitely create death metal music based on an album by Archspire.

In this case, these neural networks are being used to accurately replace a person’s face with another, leading to incredibly realistic fake videos. It has become so rampant that there is now a whole category on Pornhub dedicated to falsified content of a plethora of celebrities. While deepnudes don’t affect celebrities that much, as these can easily be found and disproven, they will affect industries where the lines are more blurred, such as camgirling.

My predictions aim to be optimistic, but also acknowledge the potential setbacks of such emotionally detached imagery. From ideas of self-sufficiency to incel uprisings and computer-generated cam girl agencies, let’s have a look at what the rise of deepfakes could mean for the cam girl industry.

1. Camgirls will be able to do everything and anything

As any sex worker will tell you—everyone has their limits as to what they’re ok and not ok with. So what if they could still perform the acts they refuse to do without the physical and emotional labour? Being able to recycle content already online and fulfilling the client’s fantasy could be the answer to many performers wishing to keep a competitive edge. If you didn’t know your camgirl was faking this content, wouldn’t it be a win-win situation?

2. A constant stream of content

Being a camgirl is a full-time job, and the possibility of providing a steady stream of content to your fans could revolutionise the way they make their income. Will we reach an age where your favourite camgirl is always online? And could developments within emotional AI aid not only creating infinite content, but content tailored to you.

3. To use deepnudes is also to detect deepnudes

Another key aspect of the new deepnudes software is its ability to detect a deepnude, thus also serving as a means for sex workers to counteract content spread using their likeness against their will. This characteristic could potentially aid the mediation of this new software and, hopefully, give back control to those being unrightfully exploited in these images. The software could even hypothetically be integrated into websites where this content might be spread (ex: Pornhub), and limit its unlawful effects.

4. Tech Domme 2.0

Within the tech domme realm, anything that can make the sub/dom experience more vivid and interactive is celebrated. This new software could improve the relationship between tech dommes and clients, offering up new ways to please the submissive slave. This could manifest itself as videos utilizing their face and the dominatrixes’ tactics, bridging the gap between the virtual sphere and reality.

5. Uncanny valley

For some, deepnudes are a way to engage in intimacy without the complexities of human emotion. With the share of men under 30 who haven’t had sex in the past year having tripled, this seems like it could hinder society’s current efforts to combat incel culture and the increasing disdain our generation has towards sex. Will deepnudes steer us toward more automated and primal experiences regarding sex?

6. Computer-generated cam girl agencies

Since Lil Miquela, Imma, Bermuda, and Blawko, the idea of accepting virtual characters into our real lives, seems more legitimate than ever. Computer-generated cam girls could be the next step in the porn industry.

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Me and my mains! Always getting me through the roughest, there for all the highs, ride or dies, but maybe most importantly down for a ride to the taco truck at 2am. ILU guys! 💘🥰💘

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7. Rent my face

Finally, representing the ultimate convergence between infinite post-biological profession and technology, is the concept of patenting your own identity. As we now increasingly value our faces as currency, could we see people selling their rights to their own face to these camgirl agencies? And, will we see retired pornstars such as Jenna Jameson or even Linda Lovelace, making a return to our computer screens?

While these things explore the ability for deepnudes to be used, I stand by the idea that, in a similar way to books, people will still seek out human connections. Rather than the industry becoming obsolete, it will evolve and provide a whole new realm of possibilities for creators and consumers alike. However, just like anything in the rapidly evolving digital realm, the most pressing issue is to have laws and procedures in place so that software can be used respectfully.

7 ways deepnudes could change the way we wank


By Iris Luz

Sep 19, 2019

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