Prashant Kumar

Etsy Has Been Selling Deepfake Pornographic Images of Celebrities

Etsy, an online store famous for selling unique handmade and old-fashioned things, got in trouble for selling AI-generated deepfake images of high-profile celebrities,like Jenna Ortega and Olivia Munn. Shockingly, some of these fake pictures were even inappropriate and were sold for very low prices, like $0.92.

A recent report by Forbes found out that Etsy was selling deepfake digital images of Olivia Munn until a few days ago. The description for one of these deepfake images, priced at $2.49, said it was good for digital art and printing.

When Olivia Munn’s lawyer found out about these inappropriate deepfake images on Etsy on December 13, they contacted Etsy immediately. But it took six more days, after Forbes stepped in, for Etsy to finally remove the images.

Munn’s lawyer, Bryan Sullivan, said that Munn felt very upset and violated by these deepfake pictures on Etsy. She’s an actress known for being in X-Men: Apocalypse, and she felt her privacy was invaded.

Etsy Faces Deepfake Porn Problem

This isn’t just about Olivia Munn. Forbes found other deepfake  images of celebrities being sold on Etsy for slightly higher prices ($5.51). Some descriptions even had really inappropriate details about the celebrities.

Etsy removed the sellers who were selling these inappropriate deepfake images, but there were still thousands of similar listings left that showed AI-made inappropriate pictures. These could be easily found by searching for certain words.

The head of trust safety at Etsy, Alice Wu, said they are working hard to make Etsy a safe place. She mentioned that they quickly remove any inappropriate listings when they’re reported. Etsy knows that these fake inappropriate pictures are a problem and they’re trying to do better at stopping them.

According to Forbes, Etsy has a big issue with these fake inappropriate deepfake  images, and it’s getting worse because of AI technology. They found thousands of results when searching for terms related to AI-made inappropriate pictures, but after Forbes talked about it, Etsy reduced the number of these listings.

What is Etsy?

Etsy, an online store famous for selling unique handmade and old-fashioned things. According to Etsy, its goal is to “keep human connection at the heart of commerce” and create “a place where creativity lives and thrives.” There is a bad side to Etsy and the products it sells, even though millions of people around the world love to shop there for handmade goods and support small businesses.

Etsy has a lot of items for sale that make sexual abuse and trafficking seem normal. Some examples of these kinds of goods are sex dolls and clothing that promotes objectifying and degrading ideas about women. Some of the sold sex dolls look like children, which normalizes child sexual abuse and promotes pedophiles. By selling things that are used in “ageplay,” a fantasy in which child sexual abuse is acted out, Etsy makes child sexual abuse seem even more normal. You can also find pornography on Etsy. This includes “deepfake” pornography, in which a person’s face is edited onto a naked body without their permission.  Because Etsy’s filters for pornography and sexually explicit content are so bad, users are being scarred by seeing this content without asking to see it.

Incorporating Celebrity Deepfakes In Digital Content

People have utilized celebrity deepfakes on social media platforms, showcasing the extent and precision of this technology. In early 2021, a Belgian digital AI artist collaborated with a Tom Cruise impersonator to create remarkably authentic videos of “Tom Cruise” on TikTok, shared via the account @deeptomcruise. These videos portrayed “Tom Cruise” engaging in various offbeat activities, like stumbling, cracking a Soviet Union joke in a store, and performing industrial clean-up tasks, amassing hundreds of thousands of views. Additionally, a viral TikTok featured a deepfake of Harry Styles passionately requesting more strawberries while singing a musical tribute to his song “Watermelon Sugar.”

Should an individual or business wish to produce a celebrity deepfake for media content, it’s crucial to consult with legal counsel to determine permissibility under relevant laws. This involves addressing key legal aspects before posting such content, such as whether it falls under a protected form of free speech (like parody), whether the celebrity’s rights of publicity are within the public domain, and whether a fair use defense applies against potential copyright infringement claims. Otherwise, obtaining consent is typically necessary for utilizing a celebrity’s likeness in this manner.

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