US lawmakers have taken prompt action to propose an anti-nonconsensual AI porn bill following the controversy over “deepfake” explicit images of Taylor Swift being spread over the X platform.

A press release from the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary has detailed the legislation that would allow subjects to sue over faked sexual images.

The Disrupt Explicit Forged Images and Non-Consensual Edits (DEFIANCE) Act would introduce a civil right for action to be taken against explicit “digital forgeries” depicting an identifiable person without their consent, allowing victims to pursue financial damages from anyone who “knowingly produced or possessed” the image with the intent to spread it.

The statement expressed concern at how the volume of “deepfake” content has increased exponentially with the proliferation of AI and its accessibility to the public. Specifically, an “overwhelming majority” of the content is sexually explicit with a 2019 study cited, which found 96% of deepfakes were nonconsensual pornography.

Taylor Swift incident sparks growing concern around deepfakes

With the mega profile of American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, the gravitas around this issue cannot be ignored. The intense spreading of content with her image is not a good thing, but her status has possibly enabled action to be taken sooner.

Those representatives sitting on the Committee included U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, and US Senators Lindsey Graham, Amy Klobuchar and Josh Hawley.

Durbin stated on the proposed legislation, “Although the imagery may be fake, the harm to the victims from the distribution of sexually explicit ‘deepfakes’ is very real. Victims have lost their jobs, and they may suffer ongoing depression or anxiety.”

“By introducing this legislation, we’re giving power back to the victims, cracking down on the distribution of ‘deepfake’ images, and holding those responsible for the images accountable.”

Since the deepfake term first surfaced in 2017, pornographic AI-manipulated images have grown in popularity and frequency, as well as an increase in their sophistication.

There are also concerns regarding AI’s impact on the democratic process, with ChatGPT recently banning a US Presidential candidate bot.

Featured image: Dall-E

Graeme Hanna

Freelance Writer

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing.

Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter.

Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.




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