Taylor Swift

X Halts Taylor Swift Searches After Explicit AI Images Spread

user avatar Author: Editors Desk Source: WSJ:
January 27, 2024 at 22:21

The social-media platform blocked searches about the pop superstar days after explicit, digitally fabricated fakes of the singer began proliferating on the site.2 min read

Social-media platform X blocked searches about Taylor Swift days after explicit, digitally fabricated fakes of the singer began proliferating on the site. 

“Posts aren’t loading right now,” an automated message said on Saturday in reply to a search query of the pop star’s name. “Try again later.” 

Joe Benarroch, head of business operations at X, said Saturday in response to questions about Swift searches: “This is a temporary action and done with an abundance of caution as we prioritize safety on this issue.”

Representatives for Swift didn’t respond to a request for comment Saturday. 

Graphic fake images of Swift began spreading across X on Wednesday, prompting fans to swarm the platform with real pictures of the “Eras Tour” star. Swifties also pushed X to take stronger steps to delete the phony photos, saying they were flagging accounts spreading the fake images for the company. The slogan “protect Taylor Swift” trended on the site. 

By Thursday, a flurry of accounts that were flagged by users for sharing the most viral images were suspended or otherwise restrictedthough the fakes were still relatively easy to find on the platform.

X said in an online statement later in the week that it prohibits the sharing of nonconsensual graphic imagery and has a “zero-tolerance policy” for such content. The statement didn’t mention Swift by name. 

“Our teams are actively removing all identified images and taking appropriate actions against the accounts responsible for posting them,” the statement said. “We’re closely monitoring the situation to ensure that any further violations are immediately addressed, and the content is removed.” 

Advances in generative artificial intelligence have made digitally altered fake pornography easier to create and more accessible. 

After Elon Musk acquired the former Twitter in late 2022, many of its content-moderation rules were loosened. He cut thousands of jobs across the company, which he said was needed to stabilize its financial situation.

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