Blog, Internet Safety Advice for Parents

Images of women taken from Social Media weaponised to create Fake Porn Videos

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Deepfake

 

A new threat has emerged, and it is putting puts both adults and children at risk of appearing in pornographic videos. A number of women found to their horror, images put on their own Social Media profiles, were superimposed, over the faces of porn actress in videos. The seamlessly grafted images in these videos are incredibly authentic looking. This technique is now also used to generate revenge porn featuring ex-partners. The content then circulated online or through message apps.

 

Worryingly, the technology required to perform this type of software editing, is already freely available online. It does not take much experience to learn how to use it. Time, images and a target are all that a person will require. It takes approximately 400 images of a face, from a variety of angles, to create a realistic manipulation. This is then digitally stitched over face the actor or actress in the original pornographic video by AI.

 

Deepfake

Known as Deepfake, this first made an appearance early last year. Deepfake is the use of Artificial Intelligence to seamlessly craft the face of one person, over another. It gives the appearance of the content being genuine and authentic. Here are two examples of Deepfake: one used to create fake version of Barrack Obama, the other of Donald Trump. One way to identify content as a Deepfake, was that the eyes did not blink. But this has been addressed as the technology improved.

 

Barrack Obama

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Donald Trump

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Celebrity Victims

Celebrities were the first target of this new technology. Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlet Johansson both had their faces artificially inserted over the face of women in porn videos. Scarlet Johansson, who’s image has been used in numerous Deepfake pornographic videos, in an interview stated, ““it’s just a matter of time before any one person is targeted”. She also expressed concern that “it may already too late for women and children to protect themselves against the virtually lawless (online) abyss”.

 

She went on to say, “Nothing can stop someone from cutting and pasting my image, or anyone else’s onto a different body and making it look as eerily realistic as desired,” she said. “The fact is that trying to protect yourself from the Internet and its depravity is basically a lost cause. . . . The Internet is a vast wormhole of darkness that eats itself.” This will come as a shocking revelation to many parents.

 

Google is attempting to stop this type of content from being available online. The company is removing the ontent once it is identified.  This will not however, prevent the creation and sharing of the content through Social Media and messaging Apps. Some people are already openly advertising online that they can create the content for as little as $20 online.

 

 

What should Parents do to protect themselves and their Children?

Parents are the biggest offenders, when it comes to sharing images of their own children online. Many posting images of their children, yet never themselves. We would ask that you reconsider using Social Media Platforms to do this. These images will be around long after you’re not, once they go online. We are also so far behind when it comes to addressing the online harm caused to victims.

 

Sooner or later we are going to have to start asking ourselves, where all of this is heading, if you post an image of yourself on a platform who is attempting to profit from the data. The company can’t protect the image and it ends up in a data breach. And now having posted the image, you end up in a porn video because of some other depraved internet user.

 

It is only a matter of time before this software is available in a format that a child will be able to use. It goes without saying that Deepfake will be weaponised and can used to cyberbully and worse. I you are a victim of a Deepfake, we would encourage you to report it immediately to the authorities. It is important to remember that you are a victim. Incredibly, the strongest piece of legislation we might have to protect ourselves and our children, against this may be the Data Protection Act 2018.

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