Following the release of faked, sexually explicit images of Taylor Swift created by so-called artificial intelligence software, SAG-AFTRA called for laws making the development and distribution of such content illegal.
“The sexually explicit, A.I.-generated images depicting Taylor Swift are upsetting, harmful, and deeply concerning. The development and dissemination of fake images — especially those of a lewd nature — without someone’s consent must be made illegal. As a society, we have it in our power to control these technologies, but we must act now before it is too late,” the guild said in a statement Friday afternoon.
“SAG-AFTRA continues to support legislation by Congressman Joe Morelle, the Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act, to make sure we stop exploitation of this nature from happening again. We support Taylor, and women everywhere who are the victims of this kind of theft of their privacy and right to autonomy,” the statement concluded.
The images began appearing online this week and were widely shared on various social media platforms, including the platform formerly known as Twitter. Thanks to that site’s lax content and moderation standards under owner Elon Musk, one account was viewed more than 40 million times before it was finally suspended.
Earlier Friday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre commented on the matter.
“We are alarmed by the reports of circulation of images that you just laid out, false images, to be more exact, and it is alarming. So while social media companies make their own independent decisions about content management, we believe they have an important role to play in enforcing their own rules to prevent the spread of misinformation and non-consensual, intimate imagery,” she said.
“This problem is not new, and it’s one that the Biden-Harris administration has been prioritizing since day one. We have taken this very seriously,” she added. “Again, this is alarming to us. As you know, he launched a task force to address online harassment and abuse, and he did that just this fall. The Department of Justice launched the first national 24/7 helpline for survivors of image-based sexual abuse,” Jean-Pierre continued.
Jean-Pierre agreed that legislation should be put in place to deal with the issue in addition to the action the president has taken.