Deepfake Pornographic Content Surfaces on Etsy, Celebrities Targeted

Deepfake images, including explicit content featuring celebrities like actor Olivia Munn, have ignited controversy on Etsy, the widely-used online marketplace recognized for its diverse product offerings.

The explicit digital creations were available for purchase until brought to Etsy’s attention, raising concerns about the platform’s policies and enforcement mechanisms.

The AI-generated images, priced as low as $2.49, were accompanied by descriptions highlighting their resolution and artistic attributes. 

Olivia Munn’s attorney, Bryan Sullivan, expressed his client’s distress, stating that the sale of these images is a violation of her rights and dignity. 

Despite immediate notification by Sullivan, Etsy reportedly took six days to remove the images after direct contact from Forbes.

While Etsy did take down the reported accounts, it left thousands of other listings containing AI-generated pornography accessible on the platform. 

The issue raises questions about Etsy’s ability to effectively regulate explicit content and the prevalence of such materials in its marketplace.

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Etsy Faces Deepfake and Explicit Content Backlash

deepfake-pornographic-content-surfaces-etsy-celebrities-targeted
Deepfake images, including explicit content featuring celebrities like actor Olivia Munn, have ignited controversy on Etsy, the widely-used online marketplace recognized for its diverse product offerings.

Etsy’s Head of Trust Safety, Alice Wu, stated that the platform is committed to the safety of its community and actively working to scale enforcement efforts in response to emerging issues like nude celebrity deepfakes. 

However, the company’s policies and actions have come under scrutiny, with searches for terms like “deepfake porn” yielding over 1,600 results.

The proliferation of AI-generated explicit content on Etsy has highlighted challenges in distinguishing between nude imagery allowed by the platform and prohibited pornography. 

The company faces criticism for not adequately addressing the issue and for leaving potentially explicit content easily discoverable through its search algorithms.

Experts, including UC Berkeley computer science professor Hany Farid, emphasize that platforms like Etsy can implement better filtering mechanisms to prevent the dissemination of deepfake pornographic materials. 

Etsy’s struggle with managing AI-generated content adds to the broader debate surrounding the responsibility of tech platforms in controlling explicit content on the internet.

As Etsy continues to grapple with the aftermath of this controversy, questions persist about the platform’s readiness to address emerging challenges associated with AI-generated content.

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