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Fake, explicit images of Taylor Swift started on 4chan, study finds| GuyWhoKnowsThings

Images of Taylor Swift which had been generated by artificial intelligence and had spread widely on social media at the end of January probably originated as part of a recurring challenge on one of the Internet sites. most notorious message boardsaccording to a new report.

Graphika, a research firm that studies misinformation, traced the images to a community on 4chan, a message board known for sharing hate speech, conspiracy theories and, increasingly, racist and offensive content created with artificial intelligence.

The 4chan people who created the singer's images did so in a kind of game, researchers said: a test to see if they could create lewd (and sometimes violent) images of famous female figures.

Swift's synthetic images spread to other platforms and were viewed millions of times. Fans rallied to Ms Swift's defense and lawmakers demanded stronger protections against AI-created images.

Graphika found a thread of messages on 4chan encouraging people to try to evade the safeguards put in place by image generating tools, including OpenAI's DALL-E, Microsoft Designer, and Bing Image Creator. Users were asked to share “tips and tricks for finding new ways to bypass filters” and were told, “Good luck, be creative.”

Share unpleasant content through games It allows people to feel connected to a broader community and motivated by the prestige they receive for participating, experts said. Ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, groups on platforms such as Telegram, WhatsApp and Truth Social embarked on a search for electoral fraud, points or honorary titles for presenting alleged evidence of electoral misconduct. (The true test of electoral fraud is exceptionally rare.)

In the 4chan thread that led to the fake images of Ms Swift, several users were praised (“beautiful gen anon,” one wrote) and asked to share the language used to create the images. One user lamented that one post produced an image of a celebrity dressed in a swimsuit instead of naked.

4chan's posted rules that apply sitewide do not specifically prohibit AI-generated sexually explicit images of real adults.

“These images originated from a community of people motivated by the 'challenge' of circumventing the safeguards of generative AI products, and the new restrictions are seen as one more obstacle to 'defeat',” said Cristina López G., senior analyst at Graphika said in a statement. “It is important to understand the gamified nature of this malicious activity to prevent further abuse at the source.”

Swift is “far from the only victim,” said López G. In the 4chan community that manipulated her image, many actresses, singers and politicians appeared more frequently than Ms. Swift.

OpenAI said in a statement that the explicit images of Ms Swift were not generated using its tools, noting that it filters out the most explicit content when training its DALL-E model. The company also said it uses other security barriers, such as rejecting requests that ask for the name of a public figure or search for explicit content.

Microsoft said it was “continuing to investigate these images” and added that it had “strengthened our existing security systems to further prevent our services from being misused to help generate images like these.” The company prohibits users from using its tools to create intimate or adult content without consent and warns repeat offenders that they may be blocked.

Software-generated fake pornography has been a plague since at least 2017, affecting the unwilling Famous, government figures, Contraction streamers, students and others. Irregular regulation leaves few victims with legal recourse; even fewer have a devoted fan base that can drown out fake images with coordinated “Protect Taylor Swift” posts.

After fake images of Ms. Swift went viral, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, called the situation “frightening” and said social media companies' lax enforcement of their own rules disproportionately affected women and girls. She said the Justice Department had recently funded the first national helpline for people subjected to image-based sexual abuse, which the department described as meeting a “growing need for services” related to the distribution of intimate images without consent. SAG-AFTRAThe union representing tens of thousands of actors called the fake images of Swift and others a “theft of their privacy and right to autonomy.”

Artificially generated versions of Ms Swift have also been used to promote Le Creuset Cookware Scams. The AI ​​was used to impersonate the voice of President Biden in robocalls to discourage voters from participating in the New Hampshire primary. Technology experts say that as artificial intelligence tools become more accessible and easier to use, audio and video parodies with realistic avatars could be created in a matter of minutes.

Investigators said the first sexually explicit AI image of Ms Swift in the 4chan thread appeared on January 6, 11 days before they appeared on Telegram and 12 days before they appeared on X. 404 Media reported on January 25 that viral images of Swift had jumped to major social media platforms 4chan and a Telegram group dedicated to abusive images of women. The British News Organization. daily mail reported that week that a website known for sharing sexualized images of celebrities posted the images of Swift on January 15.

For several days,

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