Protect Taylor Swift: Social media users defend Swift amid AI pictures trend

Taylor Swift, the pop superstar and 11-time Grammy winner, has become the latest victim of artificial intelligence (AI) abuse.

A website called Celeb Jihad has generated and posted fake nude images of Swift using a text prompt, without her consent or knowledge. The images have since gone viral on X, a social media platform formerly known as Twitter, sparking outrage and disgust among her fans and supporters.

The AI-generated images are created using a technique called deepfake, which uses machine learning algorithms to manipulate and synthesize existing images and videos. Deepfake technology can produce realistic and convincing results, but it can also be used for malicious purposes, such as creating non-consensual pornography, spreading misinformation, or impersonating celebrities and public figures.

Swift’s fans have rallied to defend her and condemn the perpetrators of the AI abuse. They have started a campaign using the hashtag #ProtectTaylorSwift, which has trended on X for several days. They have also reported and flagged the accounts that have shared the fake images, and flooded the platform with positive messages and photos of Swift.

Swift has not yet commented on the AI abuse, but she has received support from other celebrities and public figures.

The AI abuse of Swift has also raised awareness and concern about the legal and ethical implications of deepfake technology. Two lawmakers, Representative Joseph Morelle, a Democrat from New York, and Representative Tom Kean, a Republican from New Jersey, have reintroduced a bill that would make the non-consensual sharing of digitally altered pornographic images a federal crime. The bill, called the Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act, was first proposed in May 2023, but it has not yet been passed by Congress.

Carrie Goldberg, a New York City-based victims’ rights attorney, has offered to represent Swift if she decides to take legal action against the creators and distributors of the fake images. Goldberg tweeted: “My resumé: I sued Celeb Jihad for posting nonconsensual nudes of my client and got them to take them down. I’m ready to do it again for @taylorswift13. #ProtectTaylorSwift”

Swift is not the first celebrity to be targeted by AI abuse. In the past, other stars such as Scarlett Johansson, Emma Watson, Gal Gadot, and Jennifer Lawrence have also had their faces and bodies superimposed on pornographic videos and images using deepfake technology. However, Swift’s case has drawn more attention and support, as she is one of the most popular and influential artists in the world, with over 300 million followers on X.

Swift is currently preparing for her upcoming world tour, The Eras Tour, which will kick off in March 2024. The tour will feature songs from her nine studio albums, including her latest release, Red (Taylor’s Version), which broke several records and topped the charts in many countries. Swift has also been nominated for eight awards at the 66th Grammy Awards, which will take place on February 18, 2024.

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