On the three largest platforms – XVideos, Xnxx, and xHamster – these videos have millions of views. Deepfake videos help sites earn money by placing ads on them. One 30-second video of the face of actress Emma Watson, for example, has received over 23 million views on three sites. Other deepfake videos feature fake Natalie Portman, Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, and more.
Experts say that the porn sites themselves do not consider the existence of such fake videos a problem. Alex Hawkins, vice president of xHamster, said the company doesn’t have a specific deepfake policy, but they “treat them like any other content.” Hawkins says the moderation process involves several different steps, and they remove videos if people’s images are used without permission:
Cybersecurity company Deeptrace has released a status report on Deepfakes technology. After analysing 14,678 deepfake videos the company was able to find on the Internet, it was found that the people who create the videos seem to be far less concerned with electoral manipulation. The overwhelming majority of their interest lies in editing porn videos with the participation of famous actresses and musicians. According to the report, 96% of edited videos fall into the category of “fake pornography“: the creators of the videos replace the face of an actress in a pornographic video with the face of another woman. Celebrities are usually targeted. The report noted that in all of these porn films, with the exception of 1%, the woman who replaced the original actress was a female actress or pop singer. In June 2020, there were already more than 49 thousand such videos.
Last year, the top 4 such sites received 134 million views. One of the sites is full of videos featuring Indian actresses. Some videos say they were created on demand and paid for creation in bitcoins.
Durham Law School professor Claire McGlynn believes there is a serious problem looming, which not only celebrities will face. DeepFake technology is becoming more accessible, and lawmakers are still sluggishly reacting to it. The US has already started to pass deepfake laws, but they are still focused on politics.
In the UK, a commission has begun work that is studying this phenomenon, but it will take a long time before it can introduce any restrictions on the use of this technology. Eislin O’Connell, a law professor at Queen’s University Holloway in London, has proposed a law on the right to their own image so that people can properly protect themselves.
“Technologies are developing much faster than society can respond to new challenges. Before it is too late, experts in specific subject areas, the public, lawyers and legislators should be involved in the development of new norms, ”she said.