What is a deepfake and how are they used as a form of revenge porn?

Women are increasingly becoming victims of this scary digital crime

7/30/2021 10:20:00 AM

Women are increasingly becoming victims of this scary digital crime

Women are increasingly becoming victims of this worrying digital crime

What is a deepfake and how do you make one?"Deepfakes are similar to Photoshopped images - and can be just that - but in their most 'highest' form they can be AI generated imagery that maps someone's body part (usually a face) and augments this onto another body, or into another situation that the person has not been in," explains Roddis."I think they're called deepfakes because they require really intelligent software to make the 'fake' and a huge amount of data (or a 'deep dive of data')."

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However, it's not just smart technology only available to those in the know that's a part of the problem - deepfake apps, such as Fakeapp or FaceSwap, which are billed to audiences as being for little more than frivolity, also make creating doctored images and videos something pretty much anyone can do.

"These apps are badged as fun, light-hearted ways to spend your time and, for many of us, that is exactly what theyareused for," says Atkins."Still, there's also real potential to cause harm, especially as the mechanisms to create deepfakes becomes easier and the output becomes more realistic." headtopics.com

She adds that one of the main issues with deepfakes is that it leads to an increasingly high rate of non-consensual deepfake porn, primarily targeting women."According to AI firm, 96% of deepfakes are pornographic and used to target women – and the number of deep fake porn clips is doubling every six months. By summer 2021, there could be as many as 180,000 porn videos 'starring' innocent people online."

Katie WildeGetty ImagesHow can you spot or prove something is a deepfake?It can be a real challenge, Roddis sadly confirms."It’s hard to know at a glance if it’s real or not, and when this comes to intimate content this is even more difficult," she explains."When a sexual deepfake is made of someone, they can be so realistic that you couldn’t say otherwise and then the damage is done... and that damage is very similar to that of someone who has had their, genuine images or videos shared without consent. That’s where the abuse is: it’s an abuse of privacy and a violation of someone’s body."

Atkins agrees that it can often be difficult to differentiate."Detecting an amateurish deepfake is relatively easy – the edges may be blurry, the audio inconsistent, or the video will simply look unnatural - but more credible deepfake porn, created with neural networks, will be harder to spot." She adds that ultimately, it could require machines or even digital forensics to identify a fake."This is where the concern regarding deepfake porn lies – if it looks entirely credible then how will the victim be able to prove it isn’t real?"

What is the law on deepfake pornography?Unfortunately, it's not clear-cut, says Atkins."The main issue is around image ownership and rights, but if images are in the public domain, it becomes hard to fight that case legally in the UK."She explains that the nature of the image is key, too. Using US politician headtopics.com

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was a victim of a widely-circulated bikini shot deepfake, Atkins says that would be a case steeped in defamation. Whereas the convincing video of a fully-clothed Tom Cruise, saying nothing offensive, isn't."It’s the decision of the person to understand how a deepfake affects their livelihood and whether they want to take legal action. In the UK, the Domestic Abuse Act has just recently announced a sentence for up to two years in jail for those who

'," Atkins adds."This is a step in the right direction to help people fight cases in this sphere and I believe more will come to help fight this. Hopefully it’s not too late."Where can you get help if you're a deepfake victim? Read more: Cosmopolitan UK »

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