Deepfakes – Fake it Til You Break It

Henry Cavill outside topless wet hairy

Henry Cavill's fallen victim to deepfakes in the past but it's hardly surprising...

 

We’re all been guilty of having a cheeky look on PornHub to see if one of our fave celebs has been caught with their pants down, literally. Whereas if you’re into reality stars, the pandemic will have been like Christmas coming early as so many of them turned to OnlyFans when their usual work dried up. Suddenly you get to see your guilty crushes in a way you’d never see your Hollywood crushes in…until now.

 

Beyond sex tapes

 

Sex tapes aren’t anything new in the slightest, in fact some people have used their ‘accidental’ leaking as a springboard towards an illustrious and lucrative career in reality TV, mentioning no names…ahem…Kim Kardashian. First you had your Paris Hiltons and your Tommy Lees but then you have celebs who were ‘fine’ with their videos coming out like Calum Best or Kieran Hayler etc. This is all well and good for them as they’ve given their permission and it’s bonafide but then you get the actual problem, deepfakes.

 

Lady Gaga original and with Steve Buscemi's face

An example of the horrors of deepfakes. Gaga with Steve Buscemi's face eek!

 

Deepfakes are by their very name, fake. Whilst of course that sounds slightly insidious, they are being used to implement pornographic videos or images featuring celebs you might fancy or admire in a setting that isn’t true to life. Via the use of AI, machine loading and coding, a perpetrator can take anyone’s likeness and assign it to any video or picture that they fancy.

 

You don’t have to Google your fave celeb for long, putting ‘topless’ into your search engine, for example, before you find copious amounts of badly morphed pics of them with their cock or tits out. Of course, they aren’t real and for the most part it’s blatantly obvious as the face doesn’t match the body etc but with a deep fake its far more nefarious.

 

Not just porn 

 

Using programs already in existence, a programmer can take anyone’s face and transmute it onto a body to say or do things that they haven’t really done. You only need to look as far as Hollywood movies where they have the ability to raise and actor from the dead in order to complete a story after their untimely death (Gladiator with Oliver Reed being one of the first examples of this) to see how it’s been possible for a while.

 

Channing Tatum with white shirt and black jacket with white background

Ropey deepfakes Channing Tatum getting it on are often produced

 

Making it look realistic however is a far more current problem with these tools even being used in politics to depict someone’s rival saying terrible things that only if you knew they were fake would you be able to tell. Whilst it seems absurd, if one person thinks it’s real they a thousand will and suddenly you’re in the territory of fake news and dis-information, a blight on today’s society and a brick in the wall of its demise.

 

What is the legality here though, does a manipulated picture cross a line? Do you put the shady outcome to one side as you ‘enjoy’ your fave celeb engaging in sexual acts that they were never involved in? As technology advances faster than we can keep tabs on it and when your very image becomes fodder for propaganda or porn, where do we draw a line a society at what we think is fun or titillation and what is a crime? The law takes a while to catch up so maybe it’s up to us to police ourselves and take a stand.

Sam Dowler

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