Pornhub and Reddit ban AI-generated deepfake porn, say it’s not consensual


update: Reddit joined Pornhub and Twitter in banning AI-generated “deepfake” videos. Moderators shut down the music video subreddit, citing violations of Reddit’s content policy (“specifically our policy against unintentional pornography”).

AI-generated porn videos that replace the faces of performers with the faces of celebrities will have no place on Pornhub. The adult video giant announced that “deep fakes” would be banned on its platform, stating that the site considers such films to be non-consensual.

In a statement to mother letterPornhub stated that it classifies deepfakes in the same category as revenge porn:

“We do not tolerate non-consensual content on the site and we remove all such content as soon as we become aware of it. Non-consensual content directly violates our TOS [terms of service] and consists of content such as revenge porn, deepfakes, or anything posted without a person’s consent or permission.

The position translates to Twitter, who said he would suspend the accounts of those who originally posted false content. GIF platform Gfycat and chat site Discord have also spoken out against AI-generated clips and Reddit. r/deep fakes subreddit was also closed.

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What are deepfakes?

In a nutshell, deepfakes are videos that use machine learning to stitch one person’s face onto another person’s body.

The field of image recognition and digital manipulation has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years and has now reached a point where previously complex tools have become easily accessible to the public. Google’s Culture app, for example, recently made headlines by allowing users to associate their face with a work of art. Last year, artist Mario Klingemann conducted a similar experiment with machine learning, imposing the voice and facial movements of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway on French singer Françoise Hardy.

Deepfakes are the byproducts of innovations like these. Sometimes they can be harmless and silly, like the recent popularity of imposing Nicholas Cage’s face on various movies. Porn deepfakes, on the other hand, are a deeply disturbing example of how this technology can be used to co-opt someone’s image, placing them in positions where they have in no way consented.

Pornhub’s public condemnation of deepfakes will underscore in part the ethical deplorability of putting an actress’s face on a porn star’s body, without those people’s wishes, but is that enough? The toothpaste came out of the tube; the availability of deepfake creation tools makes it difficult to shut down videos entirely. Platforms can and should crack down on deepfakes, but the videos are arguably just the beginning of a much larger discussion about the truth of images in a world where faces can be convincingly swapped.

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What does it mean to convey a person’s face in a world where images can be so easily manipulated, where one person’s words can come out of another’s mouth, or where a person’s identity can be drawn into a sexual act against their will? ?

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