Study says fake and explicit photos of Taylor Swift started on 4chan
According to a new report, the images of Taylor Swift, which were generated by artificial intelligence and spread widely on social media in late January, were likely part of a recurring challenge on one of the Internet's most notorious message boards. Were born in the form.
Graphika, a research firm that studies disinformation, detected images of a community on 4chan, a message board known for sharing hate speech, conspiracy theories and increasingly racist and offensive content created using AI. Is.
Researchers said the people who created the singer's photos on 4chan did so in a kind of game – a test to see if they could create lewd (and sometimes violent) images of famous female figures.
The synthetic Swift images spread to other platforms and were viewed millions of times. Fans rallied to Ms Swift's defense, and lawmakers called for stronger protections against AI-generated images.
Graphika found a thread of messages on 4chan encouraging people to attempt to bypass the security measures installed by image generator tools, including OpenAI's DALL-E, Microsoft Designer, and Bing Image Creator. Users were instructed to share “tips and tricks for finding new ways to bypass the filters” and were told, “Good luck, get creative.”
Experts said sharing disinterested content through games makes people feel connected to a broader community, and they are motivated by the cash they receive for participating. Ahead of the midterm elections in 2022, groups on platforms such as Telegram, WhatsApp and Truth Social have been busy looking for winning points or honorary titles to present alleged evidence of electoral fraud, voter malpractice. (True evidence of voting fraud is exceptionally rare.)
In the 4chan thread that led to the fake photos of Ms Swift, many users received praise – “beautiful generation,” one wrote – and were asked to share the quick language used to create the images. One user lamented that the prompt featured an image of a celebrity wearing a swimsuit instead of being nude.
The rules posted by 4chan that apply to the site do not specifically prohibit sexually explicit AI-generated images of real adults.
Cristina Lopez Gee, a senior analyst at Graphika, said, “These images originate from a community of people inspired by the 'challenge' to bypass the security measures of generative AI products, and the new restrictions are seen as another obstacle to 'defeat'. Is seen as.” Said in a statement. “It is important to understand the complex nature of this malicious activity to prevent further abuse at the source.”
Ms. Swift is “far from the only victim,” Ms. Lopez said. In the 4chan community that manipulated their likenesses, several actresses, singers and politicians were featured more frequently than Ms Swift.
OpenAI said in a statement that the explicit images of Ms Swift were not generated using its tool, noting that it filters out the most explicit content when training its DALL-E model. The company also said it uses other security guardrails, such as rejecting requests that ask for the name of a public figure or ask for explicit content.
Microsoft said it was “continuing to investigate these images” and added that it had “strengthened our existing security systems to prevent our services from being misused to create images similar to them.” The company prevents users from using its tools to create adult or intimate content without consent and warns repeat violators that they may be blocked.
Software-generated fake pornography has been a scourge since at least 2017, affecting unwilling celebrities, government statistics, twitch streamer, students and others. Due to poor regulation, few victims are able to seek legal recourse; Very few people have the dedicated fan base to take down fake images with a coordinated “Protect Taylor Swift” post.
After fake photos of Ms Swift went viral, White House press secretary Carine Jean-Pierre explained the situation “Worrying” And said that laxity by social media companies in enforcing their own rules disproportionately impacted women and girls. He said the Justice Department recently funded for the first time national helpline For people targeted by image-based sexual exploitation, which the department described as meeting a “growing need for services” related to the distribution of intimate images without consent. SAG-AFTRAThe union representing thousands of actors called the fake images of Ms. Swift and others “a theft of their right to privacy and autonomy.”
Artificially created versions of Ms. Swift have also been used to promote scams involving Le Creuset cookware. AI was used to impersonate President Biden's voice in a robocall to dissuade voters from participating in the New Hampshire primary election. Tech experts say that as AI tools become more accessible and easier to use, audio spoofs and videos featuring realistic avatars can be created in mere minutes.
The researchers said the first sexually explicit AI image of Ms Swift on a 4chan thread appeared on January 6, 11 days before their appearance on Telegram and 12 days before their emergence on X. 404 media On January 25, it was reported that viral Swift images had come to mainstream social media platforms from 4chan and a Telegram group dedicated to derogatory images of women. British news organizations daily Mail It was reported that week that a website known for sharing erotic photos of celebrities posted the Swift photos on January 15.
For several days, .