Virginia Bans ‘Deepfakes’ Pornography – Should More States?
Should the U.S. ban "deepfakes" and "deepnudes"?
by Countable | 7.5.19
What’s the story?
- Virginia has expanded its nonconsensual pornography ban to include computer-generated videos and photos known as “deepfakes” or “deepnudes.”
- Deepfakes are videos that use artificial intelligence to swap faces, add images, and adjust audio, creating false evidence of people saying or doing things that they actually didn’t do. Deepnudes take images of clothed individuals and uses AI to make them appear naked.
- Virginia’s law, which went into effect Monday, makes it illegal to share nude photos or videos without the subject's permission, regardless of whether the images are real or fake.
What are people saying?
- The Old Dominion State has banned the spread of explicit photos and videos “with the intent to coerce, harass, or intimidate” another person since 2014. In February, Del. Marcus B. Simon (D-Fairfax) introduced HB 2678 to amend the original legislation to include “falsely-created” material.
“The non-consensual dissemination of intimate photos or videos is not just humiliating for victims, but it can also carry significant emotional, psychological and even financial repercussions,” Simon said.
- Simon added that deepfakes are just another device used to intimidate people, most often women.
- Facebook recently came under fire over the widely disseminated deepfake video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) slurring her words and appearing drunk. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is reviewing what their deepfake policy should be.
“This is certainly a really important area as the AI technology gets better and one that I think is likely sensible to have a different policy and to treat this differently than how we just treat normal false information on the internet.” Zuckerberg said.
- “It certainly shows how the existing legal infrastructure could help,” Henry Ajder, head of communications and research analysis at Deeptrace, told Digital Trends. “But it seems to be available for the privileged few.”
- Some of the few Ajder is referring to includes Kim Kardashian, who had a deepfake video of her posted to YouTube discussing an organization called “Spectre.” The video was removed because of a copyright claim.
- The U.S. Defense Department is currently preparing itself for the fight against deepfakes—Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is creating digital tools to catch and expose fake AI creations.
- Last month, Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) introduced legislation to counter the phenomenon: The Defending Each and Every Person from False Appearances by Keeping Exploitation Subject to Accountability – or DEEPFAKES – Act.
What do you think?
Do you support legislation to ban deepfakes and deepnudes? Should more states adopt bans? Should we ban them on a national level? Take action above and tell your reps, then share your opinions below.
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