The graphic AI images of Taylor Swift that circulated widely on social media last month have reportedly been linked to a 4chan chatroom challenge.
Deepfakes are created using artificial intelligence (AI) to make a photo or video of someone by manipulating their face or body. The images involving Swift appeared on sites including X/Twitter and Telegram last month and were viewed millions of times. One such photo was reportedly seen by users 47million times before being taken down.
Now, a new report alleges that the images were traced to a forum on 4chan, an image bulletin board (via CBS news).
A report from Graphika said: “While viral…pictures of Taylor Swift have brought mainstream attention to the issue of AI-generated non-consensual intimate images, she is far from the only victim,” Cristina Lopez G., senior analyst at Graphika said in a statement accompanying a new report.
“In the 4chan community where these images originated, she isn’t even the most frequently targeted public figure. This shows that anyone can be targeted in this way, from global celebrities to school children.”
NME has reached out to 4chan for comment.
Following the incident, several US politicians have argued for the need for legislation to catch up with advancements in AI technology. There are currently no federal laws prohibiting the sharing or creation of deepfakes, but some states have made advancements in creating legislation to tackle the issue.
US Representative Joe Morelle called the spread of the pictures “appalling” and encouraged urgent action to be taken.
He said the images and videos “can cause irrevocable emotional, financial, and reputational harm – and unfortunately, women are disproportionately impacted”. Morelle had also been involved with the proposed Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act, which would have made it illegal to share deepfake pornography without consent.
“What’s happened to Taylor Swift is nothing new,” Democratic Rep Yvette D Clarke posted on X, adding that women had been targeted by the technology “for years”, adding that with “advancements in AI, creating deepfakes is easier & cheaper”.
“Whether the victim is Taylor Swift or any young person across our country, we need to establish safeguards to combat this alarming trend,” he added.
Swift has not publicly commented on the images, but the Daily Mail has reported that her team is “considering legal action” against the site which published the AI-generated images.
Social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) temporarily blocked Taylor Swift‘s name from being searched for time after the images went viral.
Meanwhile, last night Swift made history by winning Album Of The Year for a fourth time at the Grammys. The musician also announced details of her upcoming new album at the event too.