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US Senators Introduce “Defiance Act” to Combat Deepfake Exploitation Following Taylor Swift Incident

US Senators Introduce "Defiance Act" to Combat Deepfake Exploitation Following Taylor Swift Incident

A bipartisan group of US senators has presented a new plan to prohibit the sharing of nonconsensual, sexualized images generated by artificial intelligence in reaction to the recent crisis with deepfake pornography that targeted pop star Taylor Swift. The goal of the law is to address the concerning abuse of deepfake technology, especially when it comes to explicit content that targets people without their permission.

Dubbed the “Disrupt Explicit Forged Images and Non-Consensual Edits Act of 2024” or the “Defiance Act,” the proposed bill empowers victims depicted in nude or sexually explicit “digital forgeries” to pursue civil penalties against those responsible for producing, possessing, or distributing the manipulated content with malicious intent. This includes individuals knowingly receiving such material without consent.

Prominent figures supporting the bill include Dick Durbin, the US Senate majority whip, along with senators Lindsey Graham, Amy Klobuchar, and Josh Hawley. Durbin stressed in a press release how urgent it is to solve the problem, saying, “This month, artificial intelligence-generated, phony, sexually explicit images of Taylor Swift swept social media platforms.” The harm that comes from the dissemination of sexually explicit “deepfakes” to victims is genuine, even though the visual may be fake.

It seems that the US Congress is moving decisively to stop the harmful use of deepfake technology and shield people from the potentially disastrous effects of nonconsensual digital manipulation with the introduction of the Defiance Act.

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