X blocks Taylor Swift searches: What to know about the viral AI deepfakes

Social media platform X has blocked searches for one of the world’s most popular personalties, Taylor Swift, after explicit artificial intelligence images of the singer-songwriter went viral.

The deepfakes flooded several social media sites from Reddit to Facebook. This has renewed calls to strengthen legislation around AI, particularly when it is misused for sexual harassment.

What happened to Taylor Swift?

On Wednesday, AI-generated, sexually explicit images began circulating on social media sites, particularly gaining traction on X. One image of the megastar was seen 47 million times during the approximately 17 hours it was live on X before it was removed on Thursday.

The deepfake-detecting group Reality Defender told The Associated Press news agency that it tracked down dozens of unique images that spread to millions of people across the internet before being removed.

X has banned searches for Swift and queries relating to the photos, instead displaying an error message.

Instagram and Threads, while allowing searches for Swift, display a warning message when specifically searching for the images.

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