The Battle Against Deepfake AI Pornography on Social Media Platforms

The Battle Against Deepfake AI Pornography on Social Media Platforms

Lawmakers in Washington D.C. are facing a challenging dilemma as they try to combat the surge in deepfake AI pornographic images that are targeting individuals ranging from celebrities to high school students. The issue has become so prevalent that a new bill is in the works to hold social media companies accountable for monitoring and removing these harmful images from their platforms.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is the primary sponsor of the bill, which has been named the Take It Down Act. The legislation aims to criminalize the publication or threat of publication of deepfake pornographic images. In addition, social media platform operators would be required to establish a procedure for removing such images within 48 hours of receiving a valid request from a victim. The bill also mandates that efforts be made to eliminate any other copies of the images, even those shared in private groups.

To ensure compliance with these new rules, the responsibility would fall on the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees consumer protection regulations. The bill is set to be formally introduced by a bipartisan group of senators, along with the presence of victims impacted by deepfake porn, including high school students and public figures like Taylor Swift and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

While there is general agreement within Congress about the necessity of addressing the issue of deepfake AI pornography, there are diverging opinions on how best to handle it. Two competing bills have emerged in the Senate, showcasing the divide in perspectives on the matter. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois introduced a bipartisan bill earlier in the year that would enable victims to pursue legal action against individuals involved in the creation or distribution of non-consensual deepfake images.

Cruz’s bill, on the other hand, treats deepfake AI porn as a form of highly offensive online content, placing the onus on social media companies to regulate and remove such images. However, when Durbin attempted to secure a floor vote for his bill, Sen. Cynthia Lummis raised concerns about its broad scope and potential negative impact on American technological innovation. Despite this setback, Durbin defended his bill by clarifying that tech platforms would not face liability under its provisions.

The Take It Down Act has garnered bipartisan support, with co-sponsors from both the Republican and Democratic parties. Notably, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has been advocating for A.I. legislation to be prioritized in the Senate. In light of the increasing prevalence of deepfake AI pornography, the introduction of this bill underscores the urgency of addressing this critical issue in the realm of social media platforms and online content moderation.


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