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AI Censorship Communications The Internet

Reddit Bans 'Deepfakes' AI Porn Communities (theverge.com) 110

Reddit has banned the r/deepfakes subreddit that's devoted to making AI-powered porn using celebrities' faces, classifying it as a form of "involuntary pornography." Reddit follows several other platforms that have already banned deepfakes pornography, including Pornhub, which said yesterday that deepfakes imagery counted as nonconsensual pornography. The Verge reports: In a post today, Reddit announced an update to its rules on posting sexual imagery of a person without their consent. The new rule extends a ban on posting photos or video of people who are nude or engaged in sexual acts without the subject's permission, saying that this includes "depictions that have been faked" -- including the sophisticated face-swapped videos that have become especially popular on Reddit over the past month. "Do not post images or video of another person for the specific purpose of faking explicit content or soliciting 'lookalike' pornography."

This doesn't affect all AI-based face swapping enthusiasts on Reddit. The subreddit for FakeApp, a program that allows anyone to swap faces in videos, is still online. So is r/SFWdeepfakes, which is devoted to non-pornographic use of the technology. At least one small, specific subreddit devoted to simulated porn for an individual actor also seems to have slipped under the radar. But along with the central deepfakes hub, the main subreddit for posting not-safe-for-work deepfakes has gotten shut down, and so has the community r/YouTubefakes. The subreddit r/CelebFakes, which focused on non-AI-powered photoshopped pornographic images, was initially left online, but removed shortly after the announcement.
The site will rely on "first-party reports" to shut down future deepfakes material.
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Reddit Bans 'Deepfakes' AI Porn Communities

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  • Doesn't look so bad anymore eh?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They moved to Voat already.

      All this is doing is activating the Stressand effect.

      Fake Trump tapes incoming soon. Already saw him subbed onto Merkel...

      • For a minute there, I thought people were thinking about the children!
         
        Carry on, then o/

        • I learned that photographs weren't to be believed in back in photography class in high school. What problem do we think we are fixing when we ban discussions of image manipulation techniques? Reddit shouldn't take advice from Pornhub.

      • Subbed, as in substituted, or...ahem....subbed?

  • by RhettLivingston ( 544140 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2018 @06:57PM (#56086321) Journal

    I expect that 20 to 30 years from now we will be able to sit down at our home entertainment system and have any kind of movie or show we'd like to see custom created for us on the fly with whatever characters and storyline that it senses we want. It will monitor our reactions and do things like always surprising us at the exact moment we least expect it because it knew we had relaxed. It will be in AR or VR and nearly indistinguishable from real life.

    Having to make characters that don't look like any one of the billions of people on this planet would really kill the value of these systems. People need to get over it. Imagination augmentation should be no more controlled than imagination itself.

    I guess alien porn will become a leading industry - at least until the aliens complain.

    • 30 years ago they were saying we would have that today.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think I agree with you. I've gone back and forth about this and haven't been sure what to make of it.

      The thing about deepfakes, from a moral or legal perspective, is that they are explicit about the porn being fake. So it doesn't make sense to me that it's "nonconsensual" pornography because the posters are posting it explicitly as being fake, because it's fake. That's part (emphasizing the part) of the reason for its appeal--the novelty of it.

      If someone posted some deepfake porn and misrepresented it as

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2018 @09:16PM (#56086973)
      In most of the world, you have the right to control your own image [wikipedia.org]. Someone can't create a likeness of you and distribute it without your permission. That's why reality shows blur out the faces of people walking around in the background.

      If someone using this app got the celebrity's written permission before pasting their face onto a porn star's (and permission of the original movie copyright holder), I'm sure Reddit wouldn't have a problem with it. But likely all of this is being done and distributed without the consent of the people whose faces are being used. That makes it a huge liability for Reddit to allow its distribution via their site, and they're wisely taking steps to keep themselves from being sued into oblivion in what are pretty clearly open and shut cases..

      The future you cite can still happen. But the actor you pick for your customizable movie has to have given consent before their likeness can legally be used in the movie. And you can still do it as much as you like and to anyone whom you wish in the privacy of your own home. You just can't distribute it.
      • Hmm to some extent but not quite how you say. Theres bit of a myth that a photographer needs your permission if they photograph you. They really don't, or news reporting would be nigh on impossible. If your in a public place, you arent held by the courts as having an "implicit right to privacy".

        When it comes to Cops type shows, thats very different, because its about two things 1) Implying someone is a criminal which might be held to be defamatory if the person is innocent, and 2) Prejudicing juries in the

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That makes it a huge liability for Reddit to allow its distribution via their site, and they're wisely taking steps to keep themselves from being sued into oblivion in what are pretty clearly open and shut cases.

        That explains all those piracy reddits they shut down. And the neo-nazi ones. And the various fappening shit that took them ages to shut down. Oh, right, that's it, isn't it? They bowed to Hollywood because they got legal threats up the wazoo, so now they're preemptively caving because the publi

      • by nagora ( 177841 )

        "In most of the world, you have the right to control your own image"

        Cnut! Message from Cnut? Anyone seen a "King Cnut"? I have a message from "The Sea" for Cnut.

      • In most of the world, you have the right to control your own image [wikipedia.org].

        And in the US (which is the jurisdiction which applies where REddit is based), these rights specifically control *commercial exploitation*
        (i.e.: a company deciding to sell products and earn money by using your face on them without your consent).

        It absolutely doesn't cover stuff like horny teenagers using pencils to make their fantasy happen on hand-drawn comics.
        That sweaty 14 y.o. drooling why drawing a sex act involving Kate Perry ? Perfectly legal.
        (Well, until he decides to show it to his friends, then in

      • by nasch ( 598556 )

        That makes it a huge liability for Reddit to allow its distribution via their site

        The CDA section 230 would shield them from liability for content their users post.

    • Having to make characters that don't look like any one of the billions of people on this planet would really kill the value of these systems.

      There's a huge business -- find the celebrities' doppelgangers, pay them a small but reasonable fee to use their likeness in fake porn, and get back on Reddit (who's kidding whom, that's small potatoes compared to the total market).

  • This really gets to a basic question of who owns the rights to your likeness, your face, your identity and so on. If no one owns their appearance, then these so called deep fakes are free speech and can't be blacklisted. However, if each person owns their likeness and has a say on what can be done with it, then it is truly a form of identity theft and should be not only banned by Redit, but treated as a crime.

    On the flip side, now when a celebrity sex tape or some other revealing personal content gets dro

    • >This really gets to a basic question of who owns the rights to your likeness, your face, your identity and so on.

      I'm sure some will start using 'parody/fair use' as a shield... and eventually someone will actually do so in a way that legally qualifies.

      • SCOTUS ruled on the porn parody thing years ago. There is even a movie about it called The People vs Larry Flynt. There are conditions that have to be met for it to be a parody.

    • I once read a wonderful short story written in a future where the MPAA had won all of their battles, celebrities owned their likeness, and laws had been passed making it criminal to replicate them. The punch line was that there was no exception for dopplegangers. If I remember correctly, a violator had to either be confined to prison or have cosmetic surgery to alter their appearance so that they no longer looked like the celebrity (or themself).

      Maybe someone here can supply the title. It was a nice explora

    • Plot twist, what if some of the deepfake stuff IS real, and was being held as blackmail material over the actresses, so they made the porn videos (which were the real deepfakes) off the threatening blackmail videos, and released the real videos of themselves as fakes?

    • But what is ownership of a likeness? The right of someone to broadcast that image into your brain via screen. But deepfakes are from Deepmind, based off the brain, and probably tied to tech that can do things like reconstruct images from the brain. If I dream of a celebrity do I not own my dream, or am I forbidden from communicating my dream in this most direct fashion?

      Reddit & crew are making a big mistake. This genie has been out of the bottle for years, and the more they hide it, the more they perpet

    • then these so called deep fakes are free speech and can't be blacklisted.

      Reddit is not the government, They can ban them if they want.

      • But the motive of the ban is likely fear of being sued by the victims of identity theft and abuse.

        • But the motive of the ban is likely fear of being sued by the victims of identity theft and abuse.

          What does that have to do with what I wrote?

  • I realize that it will be banned on some sites, but just like a few popular memes, a simple google search will find deep fakes of Nick Cage and more all over the internet.

    I think that at some point, we're going to have to come to terms with the technology and to deal with things that are far more important than border walls and stupid dictators.

    • I agree but I have this tiny inconsequential concern. It's not just porn. It's going to be everywhere and for everything - news reports, social media, Snapchat+, Facebook, home video editing, etc... Think we are plagued wtih fake news now? Because this technology seems poised to undermine all video sources forever. It's going to get worse when you can correctly simulate it across multiple simultaneous feeds, which I assume is already on the drawing board. Yep. Was nice knowing you all.
    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      a simple google search will find deep fakes of Nick Cage

      Of all the examples to choose, you've made me laugh with that one.

      But it's fine, if that's your taste then at least there's plenty of material out there for you.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Once a site can ban something, they can add to other US party political bans later.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07, 2018 @07:35PM (#56086555)

    https://voat.co/v/DeepFake

    • by Anonymous Coward

      To be, as a newbie, at first glance, this looks like a site, interested in breaking the groupthink and circle-jerk that is emerging from and inherent in the concept of upvoting, on sites like Reddit. At least the buttons title "subversive" on the right tell me that. That sounds very nice.

      At second glance, I see loads of people posting racist shit about "kikes" and old Nazi depictions of Jews, etc. And even though as a half-German, I have seen both sides of this, with Jews being one of the groups suffering i

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Banning pornography that's involuntary / nonconsensual. Ok great, makes total sense... when the subject is actually in the video. Upskirts, hidden cam, that stuff is evil and needs to die. But when the video is explicitly faked, that's NOT nonconsensual. It's aconsensual. Consent isn't an issue because THE PERSON WASN'T INVOLVED!!

    How is deepfakes any different from parody porn? You have porn actors / actresses playing famous people all the time. Sarah Palin, Trump, Obama, there's tons of porn featu

    • by Rande ( 255599 )

      Of the few that were left online in the brief period between publicity and takedown, about half were rather blurry, and the rest were short repeating loops (although it can be hard to tell as sex often looks like a repeating loop!).

  • And I was shocked that Reddit hadn't done the same thing first. Anybody on those subreddits who didn't see this coming from a mile away is a moron.
  • Participants got very upset in early virtual worlds (e.g. LambdaMOO) when their avatars
    were manipulated by others to do objectionable things, resulting in "virtual rape".
    Quite a lot of philosophical, emotional, and legal discussion on that.
    And those avatars were merely online identities that were mere text: made up character
    names ("handles") that had no link to their users, who were fairly speaking, anonymous.
    And the "rape" consisted of spoofing text (these were pure text systems, no graphics).

    now that peop

  • by Miles_O'Toole ( 5152533 ) on Thursday February 08, 2018 @04:08AM (#56088083)

    I think a pretty good First Amendment case could be made for a "Deepfakes" porno of a chubby old gay man with Trump's face being enthusiastically backscuttled by a hugely hung dude wearing Putin's face. Call it satire, call it comedy, call it fair comment. It doesn't matter. Even done perfectly, nobody would believe it was real, so it would be hard to argue that either Trump or Putin would suffer the kind of opprobrium associated with a porn video intended to deceive people into believing such an event actually took place.

    • But what about satire?

      What about satire? Reddit aren't obliged to host a channel which is 99.997% people being dicks and 0.03% satire.

      • I'm not saying they should be obliged to. I'm saying they shouldn't be afraid to.

        • I'm not saying they should be obliged to. I'm saying they shouldn't be afraid to.

          I was talking about channels which are 99.997% dicks... so who says it's fear? Why would they want to have a place for utter dickheads to hang out and be dickheads.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you have a first amendment case against reddit then you've just argued that reddit has usurped the US government and should be held accountable to the same laws that the old government was...

      First amendment stops the government from censoring the people, it doesn't mean that any person or corporation in the US has to provide a megaphone to all the bat shit crazy stuff that is said.

      If you want to show your putin trump porn you are free to do so in any establishment that allows you to... however you are no

      • I guess I wasn't sufficiently clear. Reddit's concern stems from finding themselves on the sharp end of laws intended to prevent revenge porn and fakes so good they could have a detrimental effect on the career of an actor or educator or whatever.

        My comment concerns the potential for the authors of such satire to be sued civilly or charged criminally. Also that Reddit shouldn't have to worry about being targeted by overly aggressive trolls trying to shut down legitimate commentary because they don't happe

    • URL, please? I'm asking for a friend.
    • Even done perfectly, nobody would believe it was real, so it would be hard to argue that either Trump or Putin would suffer the kind of opprobrium associated with a porn video intended to deceive people into believing such an event actually took place.

      It's also quite a nice day for the couple. Trump and Putin can finally release their sex tape without political ramifications, since everyone will assume it's a fake.

  • Deepfaked porn of celebrities' faces presents a serious harassment. However, I suggest this pales into insignificance when compared to a vastly bigger threat: evidence fabrication. A face swap pic can be enough to destroy careers, even put innocent people into prison.

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